Using Mind-Body Modalities via Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Crisis: Cases in the Republic of Korea

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 22;17(12):E4477. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124477.

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affected the world, and its deleterious effects on human domestic life, society, economics, and especially on human mental health are expected to continue. Mental health experts highlighted health issues this pandemic may cause, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mind-body intervention, such as mindfulness meditation, has accumulated sufficient empirical evidence supporting the efficacy in improving human mental health states and the use for this purpose has been increasing. Notably, some of these interventions have already been tried in the form of telemedicine or eHealth. Korea, located adjacent to China, was exposed to COVID-19 from a relatively early stage, and today it is evaluated to have been successful in controlling this disease. "The COVID-19 telemedicine center of Korean medicine" has treated more than 20% of the confirmed COVID-19 patients in Korea with telemedicine since 9 March 2020. The center used telemedicine and mind-body modalities (including mindfulness meditation) to improve the mental health of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. In this paper, the telemedicine manual is introduced to provide insights into the development of mental health interventions for COVID-19 and other large-scale disasters in the upcoming new-normal era.

Keywords: COVID-19; mind–body intervention; new-normal; telemedicine.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Betacoronavirus
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Mind-Body Therapies*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Telemedicine / methods*

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2