Background Following the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, a rigid public health strategy of reduced social contact and shelter-in-place has been adopted by the Italian Government to reduce the spread of the virus. In this paper, we aim at evaluating the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relative containment measures, have had on a real-life sample of patients suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs) and/or behavioral addictions. Methods An anonymous questionnaire was filled out by 153 addicted patients, both outpatients and residential inpatients, recruited across Italy and highly representative of the current Italian population suffering from addictions. Psychopathological burden (anxiety and depressive symptomatology, somatization, irritability, and post-traumatic symptoms), quality of life, and craving changes in daily habits were assessed. Results In our sample, we found moderate rates of depression (22.9%), anxiety (30.1%), irritability (31.6%), and post-traumatic stress (5.4%) symptoms. Psychopathological burden was globally higher among residential patients. Reported levels of craving were generally low. Discussion This study is the first attempt to collect Italian data regarding the effects of the rigid quarantine period, during the COVID-19 pandemic, on patients suffering from a SUD and/or behavioral addictions. The presence of a moderate psychopathological burden correlated to poor quality of life and low craving scores represented the main outcomes. Long-term studies, with follow-up after the end of the restrictive measures, should be considered to implement our findings.

Psychopathological Burden and Quality of Life in Substance Users During the COVID-19 Lockdown Period in Italy

Martinotti G.;Alessi M. C.;Di Natale C.
;
Sociali A.;Ceci F.;Lucidi L.;Picutti E.;Di Carlo F.;Corbo M.;Vellante F.;Sepede G.;Pettorruso M.;di Giannantonio M.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Background Following the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, a rigid public health strategy of reduced social contact and shelter-in-place has been adopted by the Italian Government to reduce the spread of the virus. In this paper, we aim at evaluating the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relative containment measures, have had on a real-life sample of patients suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs) and/or behavioral addictions. Methods An anonymous questionnaire was filled out by 153 addicted patients, both outpatients and residential inpatients, recruited across Italy and highly representative of the current Italian population suffering from addictions. Psychopathological burden (anxiety and depressive symptomatology, somatization, irritability, and post-traumatic symptoms), quality of life, and craving changes in daily habits were assessed. Results In our sample, we found moderate rates of depression (22.9%), anxiety (30.1%), irritability (31.6%), and post-traumatic stress (5.4%) symptoms. Psychopathological burden was globally higher among residential patients. Reported levels of craving were generally low. Discussion This study is the first attempt to collect Italian data regarding the effects of the rigid quarantine period, during the COVID-19 pandemic, on patients suffering from a SUD and/or behavioral addictions. The presence of a moderate psychopathological burden correlated to poor quality of life and low craving scores represented the main outcomes. Long-term studies, with follow-up after the end of the restrictive measures, should be considered to implement our findings.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/744508
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