The impact of COVID-19 on acute psychiatric admissions for first and repeated episode psychosis

Marlene Kelbrick, Ksenija da Silva, Chris Griffiths, Saba Ansari, Gabriela Paduret, James Tanner, Nick Mann, Sara Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Background: There is limited evidence of the longer-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute admissions for psychosis in the UK. Aims: We examined the impact of COVID-19 on rates of admissions for first and repeated episode psychosis, and changes in patient profile and seasonal patterns, over a period of 12 months. Method: We conducted a retrospective case note review of all patients admitted with a primary psychosis (F20-29 ICD 10 diagnosis) to an NHS psychiatric inpatient unit. We compared the 12 months pre-COVID-19 period between 1 March 2019 and 28 February 2020, and the 12 months post-COVID-19 period between 1 March 2020 and 28 February 2021. Results: The results showed increase rates of admissions post-COVID-19 in both first and repeated episode psychosis, the patient profile had more females and older age in the repeated episode group, with increased employment rates. Combined group data for both pre- and post-COVID-19 periods showed an increased trend in spring and summer admissions, and even though not statistically significant, more pronounced post-COVID-19. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute psychosis admissions over a 12-month period. The results provide evidence for the ‘stress-pathogenesis’ in the context of genetic vulnerability in psychosis. Preventative strategies in the context of the ‘stress-pathogenesis model’, improved access to and responsiveness within NHS transformation efforts needs to be adjusted to fit local need and environmental changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2042-2047
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number8
Early online date7 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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  • COVID-19
  • acute psychiatric admissions
  • psychosis


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