Psychiatric care organization and mental health disorders in people of countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic 2020 (review)

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In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, 50 patients and 30 medical personnel were infected in a psychiatric hospital in Wuhan (Hubei Province, China), which required the Ministry of Health of China to urgently analyze the situation and develop a set of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and organizing a full and safe psychiatric care. The reasons for this situation could be the lack of reserve beds for psychiatric patients, low awareness of psychiatrists in diagnosing and treating infectious diseases, the separation of the psychiatric care system between the two departments, and the cramped living conditions of patients in psychiatric hospitals. More than 500 psychiatrists from across the country were sent to Wuhan to fill staff. Psychiatric patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 were transferred to temporary psychiatric hospitals organized in gymnasiums and exhibition centers. Severely ill psychiatric patients COVID-19 were transferred to hospital infectious diseases. A single patient routing system was organized, a shift schedule for doctors was introduced. To reduce the burden on public transport, the outpatient unit of psychiatric care was taken to regional hospitals, which had previously dealt only with forensic psychiatry and the control of patients with addictive disorders. Based on the experience of Wuhan, psychiatric communities from different countries proposed a list of practical recommendations designed to reduce the risks of spreading the infection and optimize the work of psychiatric care. Before admission to the general department of a psychiatric hospital, a fourteen-day observation of incoming patients in a separate room is necessary. It is necessary to ensure full remote monitoring of outpatients. It is necessary to increase the awareness of staff about infectious diseases, methods for their diagnosis and treatment. All hospitals should have a reserve bed capacity, which can be used for the rehabilitation and socialization of patients in quiet times. Hospitals must be provided with a sufficient number of tests, drugs, and personal protective equipment. Outpatients need to be fully provided with access to medical and psychotherapeutic therapy using telemedicine technologies to minimize the risk of infection. It is crucial to restructure the appointment of doctors by introducing work on a shift schedule: two weeks in two weeks, which will not only ensure a good rest but also allow doctors to be quarantined after each shift.

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About the authors

Boris D. Tsygankov

A.I. Yevdokimov Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0180-1267
SPIN-code: 5082-9778

Russian Federation, 20/1, Delegatskaya street, Moscow, 127473

MD, PhD, Professor, Corresponding Member of the RAS

Galina R. Ivanova

A.I. Yevdokimov Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6252-7380
SPIN-code: 1359-2213

Russian Federation, 20/1, Delegatskaya street, Moscow, 127473

PhD in Medical Sciences, Associate Professor

Dmitry A. Sheleg

M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2903-4664
SPIN-code: 6613-0222

Russian Federation, 1, Leninskie gory, Moscow, 119991

PhD Student

Valeria I. Savenkova

M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8381-5445

Russian Federation, 1, Leninskie gory, Moscow, 119991



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