Mental health consequences of isolation – a mixed-methods study from a tertiary COVID care setting


  • Mithila George Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Ernakulam
  • Priya Govindankutty Menon Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Ernakulam
  • K Vidhukumar Professor & HOD, Department of Psychiatry, TD Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala



COVID-19, mental health, isolation, mixed-methods study


Background: Isolation of infected people is one of the strategies adopted to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding people’s mental health issues in hospital isolation is important because many are likely to develop psychological problems that need early intervention. Through this study, investigators aimed to assess the experiences and perceptions of people who had undergone hospital isolation for COVID-19 as well as the proportion of patients with symptoms of anxiety and depression and the factors associated with them. Methods: A mixed-methods study was conducted in a tertiary COVID care setting among inpatients of the COVID-19 isolation ward. A quantitative study was done among 75 inpatients. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed using Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale. The data obtained were analyzed using R software. In-depth interviews (IDI) and focus group discussions (FGD) were the research methods used. Free listing, coding and creating coding categories of the transcribed and translated information were done using the R package for Qualitative Data Analysis (RQDA). Results: 22.67% of study participants had scores suggesting anxiety and 24% had depression. 14.67% had both. There was a significant association between marital status and levels of anxiety or depression (?²=7.86, df=3, p=0.04). The predominant themes that emerged from the qualitative study were psychological effects of isolation, positive coping, stigmatisation, fear of transmitting disease, concerns about the future, need for information, the necessity of isolation and the need for recreation. Conclusions: Isolation has both social and psychological impact. The study highlights the potential areas of impact which could help one to plan appropriate interventions. The need for providing adequate information about the details of isolation and efforts to alleviate stigma is also evident from the study.


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How to Cite

George, M., P. G. Menon, and K. . Vidhukumar. “Mental Health Consequences of Isolation – a Mixed-Methods Study from a Tertiary COVID Care Setting”. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 35, no. 2, Feb. 2023, pp. 139-47, doi:10.30834/KJP.35.2.2023.371.



Research Report