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Patients with psychiatric disorders are exposed to high risk of COVID-19 and increased mortality. In this study, we set out to assess the clinical features and outcomes of patients with current psychiatric disorders exposed to COVID-19.
This multi-center prospective study was conducted in 22 psychiatric wards dedicated to COVID-19 inpatients between 28 February and 30 May 2020. The main outcomes were the number of patients transferred to somatic care units, the number of deaths, and the number of patients developing a confusional state. The risk factors of confusional state and transfer to somatic care units were assessed by a multivariate logistic model. The risk of death was analyzed by a univariate analysis.
In total, 350 patients were included in the study. Overall, 24 (7%) were transferred to medicine units, 7 (2%) died, and 51 (15%) patients presented a confusional state. Severe respiratory symptoms predicted the transfer to a medicine unit [odds ratio (OR) 17.1; confidence interval (CI) 4.9–59.3]. Older age, an organic mental disorder, a confusional state, and severe respiratory symptoms predicted mortality in univariate analysis. Age >55 (OR 4.9; CI 2.1–11.4), an affective disorder (OR 4.1; CI 1.6–10.9), and severe respiratory symptoms (OR 4.6; CI 2.2–9.7) predicted a higher risk, whereas smoking (OR 0.3; CI 0.1–0.9) predicted a lower risk of a confusional state.
COVID-19 patients with severe psychiatric disorders have multiple somatic comorbidities and have a risk of developing a confusional state. These data underline the need for extreme caution given the risks of COVID-19 in patients hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.
Few studies have explored whether high-anticholinergic load may hamper rehabilitation in persons with schizophrenia. We aim to explore the associations between anticholinergic load of psychotropic treatment and functioning or cognitive performances of persons with psychosis engaged in psychosocial rehabilitation.
The study was performed using data collected at baseline assessment in the REHABase cohort including persons referred to a French network of psychosocial rehabilitation centers. The composite-rating scale developed by Salahudeen et al. was used to rate the anticholinergic load of psychotropic drugs prescribed at baseline assessment. The associations between total anticholinergic load score (categorized as ‘low’ <3 v. ‘high’ ⩾3) and functioning or cognitive characteristics were explored using multivariate analyses.
Of the 1012 participants with schizophrenia spectrum disorders identified in the REHABase, half used at least two psychotropic drugs with anticholinergic activity and one out of three was prescribed at least one psychotropic drug with high-anticholinergic activity. High-anticholinergic load was significantly associated with lower stage of recovery [odds ratio (OR) = 1.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–2.76, p = 0.03], poor mental well-being (OR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.02–2.33, p = 0.04) and poor self-rated medication adherence (OR = 2.14, 95% CI 1.29–3.53, p = 0.003). Regarding cognition, a high-anticholinergic score was associated with poorer delayed-episodic memory (OR = 1.69, 95% CI 1.01–2.85, p = 0.05) and at the trend level with faster completion time on the test exploring executive performance (OR = 0.67, 95% CI 0.43–1.04, p = 0.07).
The psychosocial rehabilitation plan of persons with psychosis should integrate optimization of psychotropic treatment in order to lessen the functional and cognitive impact of high-anticholinergic load.
Functional capacity (FC) has been identified as a key outcome to improve real-world functioning in schizophrenia. FC is influenced by cognitive impairments, negative symptoms, self-stigma and reduced physical activity (PA). Psychosocial interventions targeting FC are still under-developed.
we conducted a quasi-experimental study evaluating the effects of an exercise-enriched integrated social cognitive remediation (SCR) intervention (RemedRugby [RR]) compared with an active control group practicing Touch Rugby (TR). To our knowledge, this is the first trial to date evaluating the effectiveness of such a program provided in a real-life environment.
Eighty-seven people with schizophrenia were included and allocated to either the RR group (n = 57) or the TR group (n = 30) according to the routine clinical practice of the recruiting center. Outcomes were evaluated at baseline and post-treatment in both groups and after 6 months of follow-up in the RR group using standardized scales for symptom severity, social functioning, self-stigma, and a large cognitive battery. After treatment we observed moderate to large improvements in social function (Personal and Social Performance Scale [PSP], p < 0.001, d = 1.255), symptom severity (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale [PANSS] negative, p < 0.001, d = 0.827; PANSS GP, p < 0.001, d = 0.991; PANSS positive, p = 0.009, d = 0.594), verbal abstraction (p = 0.008, d = 0.554), aggression bias (p = 0.008, d = 0.627), and self-stigma (stereotype endorsement, p = 0.019, d = 0.495; discrimination experiences, p = 0.047; d = 0.389) that were specific to the RR group and were not observed in participants playing only TR. Effects were persistent over time and even larger between post-treatment and follow-up.
Exercise-enriched integrated SCR appears promising to improve real-life functioning in schizophrenia. Future research should investigate the potential effects of this intervention on neuroplasticity and physical fitness.
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