Prevalence and predictors of long COVID in patients accessing a national digital mental health service

Lauren G. Staples*, Olav Nielssen, Blake F. Dear, Madelyne A. Bisby, Alana Fisher, Rony Kayrouz, Nickolai Titov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

MindSpot is a national mental health service that provides assessments and treatment to Australian adults online or via telephone. Since the start of 2020, questions related to the mental health impacts of COVID-19 have been routinely administered. The objective of the current study is to report the prevalence and predictors of self-reported “long COVID” in patients completing an assessment at the MindSpot Clinic between 5 September 2022 and 7 May 2023 (n = 17,909). Consistent with the World Health Organization definition, we defined long COVID as the occurrence of ongoing physical or mental health symptoms three months after a COVID-19 infection. We conducted a descriptive univariate analysis of patients who reported: no COVID-19 diagnosis (n = 6151); a current or recent (within 3 months) COVID-19 infection (n = 2417); no symptoms three months post-COVID-19 infection (n = 7468); or COVID-related symptoms at least three months post-infection (n = 1873). Multivariate logistic regression was then used to compare patients with and without symptoms three months post-COVID to identify potential predictors for long COVID. The prevalence of long COVID was 10% of the total sample (1873/17909). Patients reporting symptoms associated with long COVID were older, more likely to be female, and more likely to be depressed and report a reduced ability to perform their usual tasks. Sociodemographic factors, including cultural background, education, and employment, were examined. These results provide evidence of the significant prevalence of symptoms of long COVID in people using a national digital mental health service. Reporting outcomes in an Australian context and in specific sub-populations is important for public health planning and for supporting patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6756
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • telehealth
  • service implementation
  • post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2
  • coronavirus
  • depression
  • anxiety

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