- by Gersi Mirashi
- March 10, 2023
The Impact of Covid-19 on Severe Mentally ill Patients in One Mental Health Center in Kosovo
by, Naim FANAJ, Sevim MUSTAFA, Erika MELONASHI
Immediately after the onset of the pandemic some scholars
speculated that people with serious mental illnesses would be at uniquely high risk during this period. Recent studies show that people with serious mental illness are at increased risk of being infected by Covid-19 and have higher subsequent rates of hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality.There are studies that also show that stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictive measures can precipitate and worsen psychotic symptoms. Our aim was to understand the mental state of the mentally ill people at one Mental Health Center in Prizren, Kosovo as a result of the situation created by Covid-19. It’s a cross-sectional study. 91 patients diagnosed with severe mental illness (Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders) and 47 their primary caregivers were interviewed via phone calls or directly about their mental state. Findings showed that 15.2% of the sample didn’t use medication regularly while 27% didn’t follow the pandemic rules / restrictions. The level of self-care was not present in about 24.6 % of the sample. Also participants reported the presenceof somatic complaints (26.1%), aggression (23.2%), nervousness (21%), fear (20.3%)and suicidal thoughts (2.9%). Moreover, 13.8% of patients were not in a good moodand 12.3% did not sleep well.Our findings are in line with studies reporting that schizophrenic patients are unimpressed by Covid-19 situation. A quarter to one fifth of patients with severe mental illness showed signs of deterioration. It is difficult to conclude on the extent of their suffering and further studies are needed.Further studies should determine the level and modes of impact of Covid-19 on this vulnerable category of the population.