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Almost half of virus sufferers report depression

Published: 15 February 2021 at 08:44

A depiction of the COVID-19 virus

Mental health concerns flagged by 48% of those testing positive in new study

Almost half of people testing positive for coronavirus have reported symptoms of depression, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Researchers from Bangladesh, the United States and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK carried out a cross-sectional survey of more than 1,000 Bangladeshi adult coronavirus patients over the course of one month.

A total of 48% of respondents were categorised as having moderate to severe depression, with a higher prevalence in those with persistent symptoms, low family income and poor health status.

A fifth of those surveyed reported having persistent COVID-19 symptoms, the most common of these being diarrhoea and fatigue. Around a quarter of patients had attempted to self-medicate their symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, rather than contact health services.

Co-author Professor Shahina Pardhan, Director of Anglia Ruskin University's Vision and Eye Research Institute, said:

“Our study found a high number of respondents suffering depression alongside their COVID-19 symptoms, particularly those who were more vulnerable.

“We know that the World Health Organisation has reported that mental health services across the world have been disrupted by the pandemic, and this study shows the pressing need for these services among those testing positive for the virus.”

Coronavirus research and support at ARU

Our COVID-19 research group is exploring the effects of lockdown on mental health, working to develop rapid coronavirus tests, and testing new drug combinations to reduce complications arising from COVID-19.

We know that COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways, and we're here to support our students and University community. For students, we have a variety of wellbeing workshops and our Counselling and Wellbeing team are available to talk. We've also introduced two new support funds.