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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 201-207

Psychological distress in patients with coronary artery disease during the COVID-19 pandemic and its association with coping mechanisms

1 Department of Psychiatry, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of Cardiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Department of Biostatistics, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India
4 Department of General Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K P Lakshmi
Department of Psychiatry, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi - 682 041, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/heartviews.heartviews_54_22

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Background and Objectives: Coronary artery disease (CAD) has been associated with increased stress both etiologically and as a consequence. The current pandemic of COVID-19 infection has impacted the personal, social, and occupational spheres of people's lives and has negatively affected mental health. People with existing chronic medical illnesses may be more vulnerable to the stressful effects of the ongoing pandemic. This study was conducted on patients with CAD during the COVID-19 pandemic to estimate the prevalence of psychological distress, the factors associated with distress, and their coping mechanisms. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Kerala in the cardiology department. After informed consent was obtained from the patients with CAD, sociodemographic details were collected, Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K-10 scale) was administered to assess psychological distress and the Brief COPE scale was administered to assess their coping mechanisms. Results: Among 50 patients who participated, the prevalence of psychological distress was 50%. The factors associated with distress were female gender, semiskilled occupation, incomplete COVID-19 vaccination status, exposure of family to COVID-19, experiencing financial difficulties, and experiencing difficulty acquiring medications prescribed for CAD. Religion and acceptance were the most common coping strategies applied by the patients and acceptance was found to be a better coping strategy than religion. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of psychological distress among patients with CAD during the pandemic, owing to the emotional, financial, and familial instability faced during the pandemic.

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