Depression and Anxiety among COVID-19 Indian Intensive Care Unit Survivors: A Prospective Observational Study

Indian J Crit Care Med. 2022 Dec;26(12):1267-1274. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24370.


Background: Long-lasting physical, cognitive, and mental health sequelae including depression and anxiety are common in intensive care unit (ICU) survivors.

Aim: This study was aimed to assess the immediate and medium-term mental health sequelae-depression and anxiety among coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) ICU survivors.

Materials and methods: The COVID-19 ICU survivors of a tertiary level ICU were recruited into this study from 1 July 2020 to 31 October 2020. Willing participants were circulated with an electronic questionnaire. It consisted of demographics and questionnaires related to COVID-19 disease, comorbidities, and a patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) scale for depression, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-7) scale for anxiety. Responses were collected at the time of discharge. Follow-up was done at 2 weeks and 6 months.

Results: Among the 133 COVID-19 ICU survivors contacted, 91 survivors submitted the baseline data at the time of discharge. Fourteen and another 11 survivors were lost to follow-up at 2 weeks and at 6 months. The median age was 52.75 and 68.1% (n = 62/91) were male. The median PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores showed a statistically significant decrease at 2 weeks and a non-significant decrease at 6 months compared to baseline scores. The GAD-7 score was the same or worse between baselines to 2 weeks, but it reduced between baseline to 6 months for all variables and their subgroups.

Conclusion: This study revealed a high prevalence of anxiety and depression in the immediate post-discharge period. These findings suggest the need for better mental rehabilitation strategies to deal with the well-being of critically ill survivors in future pandemics.

How to cite this article: Gunjiganvi M, Rai S, Awale RB, Mishra P, Gurjar M, Gupta D, et al. Depression and Anxiety among COVID-19 Indian Intensive Care Unit Survivors: A Prospective Observational Study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(12):1267-1274.

Keywords: Anxiety; Coronavirus disease-2019; Depression; Intensive care unit survivors; Mental health; Well-being.