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Post-viral mental health sequelae in infected persons associated with COVID-19 and previous epidemics and pandemics: Systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence estimates


Zürcher, Simeon Joel; Banzer, Céline; Adamus, Christine; Lehmann, Anja I; Richter, Dirk; Kerksieck, Philipp (2022). Post-viral mental health sequelae in infected persons associated with COVID-19 and previous epidemics and pandemics: Systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence estimates. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 15(5):599-608.

Abstract

AIMS

Post-viral mental health problems (MHP) in COVID-19 patients and survivors were anticipated already during early stages of this pandemic. We aimed to synthesize the prevalence of the anxiety, depression, post-traumatic and general distress domain associated with virus epidemics since 2002.

METHODS

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase from 2002 to April 14, 2021 for peer-reviewed studies reporting prevalence of MHP in adults with laboratory-confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-1, H1N1, MERS-CoV, H7N9, Ebolavirus, or SARS-CoV-2 infection. We included studies that assessed post-viral MHP with validated and frequently used scales. A three-level random-effects meta-analysis for dependent effect sizes was conducted to account for multiple outcome reporting. We pooled MHP across all domains and separately by severity (above mild or moderate-to-severe) and by acute (one month), ongoing (one to three months), and post-illness stages (longer than three months). A meta-regression was conducted to test for moderating effects, particularly for exploring estimate differences between SARS-Cov-2 and previous pandemics and epidemics. PROSPERO registration: CRD42020194535.

RESULTS

We identified 59 studies including between 14 and 1002 participants and providing 187 prevalence estimates. MHP, in general, decreased from acute to post-illness from 46.3% to 38.8% and for mild and moderate-to-severe from 22.3% to 18.8%, respectively. We found no evidence of moderating effects except for non-random sampling and H1N1 showing higher prevalence. There was a non-significant trend towards lower MHP for SARS-CoV-2 compared to previous epidemics.

CONCLUSIONS

MHP prevalence estimates decreased over time but were still on a substantial level at post-illness. Post-viral mental health problems caused by SARS-CoV-2 could have been expected much earlier, given the previous post-viral sequelae.

Abstract

AIMS

Post-viral mental health problems (MHP) in COVID-19 patients and survivors were anticipated already during early stages of this pandemic. We aimed to synthesize the prevalence of the anxiety, depression, post-traumatic and general distress domain associated with virus epidemics since 2002.

METHODS

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase from 2002 to April 14, 2021 for peer-reviewed studies reporting prevalence of MHP in adults with laboratory-confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-1, H1N1, MERS-CoV, H7N9, Ebolavirus, or SARS-CoV-2 infection. We included studies that assessed post-viral MHP with validated and frequently used scales. A three-level random-effects meta-analysis for dependent effect sizes was conducted to account for multiple outcome reporting. We pooled MHP across all domains and separately by severity (above mild or moderate-to-severe) and by acute (one month), ongoing (one to three months), and post-illness stages (longer than three months). A meta-regression was conducted to test for moderating effects, particularly for exploring estimate differences between SARS-Cov-2 and previous pandemics and epidemics. PROSPERO registration: CRD42020194535.

RESULTS

We identified 59 studies including between 14 and 1002 participants and providing 187 prevalence estimates. MHP, in general, decreased from acute to post-illness from 46.3% to 38.8% and for mild and moderate-to-severe from 22.3% to 18.8%, respectively. We found no evidence of moderating effects except for non-random sampling and H1N1 showing higher prevalence. There was a non-significant trend towards lower MHP for SARS-CoV-2 compared to previous epidemics.

CONCLUSIONS

MHP prevalence estimates decreased over time but were still on a substantial level at post-illness. Post-viral mental health problems caused by SARS-CoV-2 could have been expected much earlier, given the previous post-viral sequelae.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:May 2022
Deposited On:18 Jan 2023 10:36
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1876-0341
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2022.04.005
PubMed ID:35490117
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)