Rev Colomb Psiquiatr. 2022 Dec 26. doi: 10.1016/j.rcp.2022.12.001. Online ahead of print.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: Mental health services have been clearly affected by the pandemic and its restrictions. In our day hospital units users attended on fewer days, group therapy was drastically reduced, the number of users in groups was limited and individual and group teletherapy was initiated. This study evaluates the impact of these changes on clinical and functional outcomes.

Methods: This is a descriptive study prospectively comparing two cohorts of users: those admitted and discharged from our day hospitals before or during the pandemic. All users received a multidisciplinary assessment at admission and discharge including clinician and user-rated scales on psychopathology, daily living skills, quality of life and caregiver burdens. Improvement in both groups was compared.

Results: Both cohorts were homogenous at admission. Length of admission was not different for the two groups, but users admitted during the pandemic attended the day hospital on significantly fewer days. Improvement observed in most scales was equivalent in both groups, suggesting a similar evolution of both cohorts.

Conclusions: Despite the reduction in assistance days and group therapeutic interventions no major changes were found in the outcomes of both groups. This study shows that careful adaptations and availability, even in critical situations, can result in equally effective treatments. Further research is essential to determine which of these adaptations should be maintained beyond the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Community Mental Health Services; Group Psychotherapy; Telemedicine; Treatment Outcome.

Publication types

  • English Abstract