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Anxiety, knowledge, attitude, and preventive practices toward COVID-19 among patients with psychiatric illness – A comparative study from South India

1 Departments of Community Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Statistics, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Manjula Simiyon,
Heddfan Psychiatric Unit, Betsy Cadwaldr University Health Board, Wrexham LL 13 7TD, North Wales
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_137_21

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has induced serious threats to people's mental health. There are increasing concerns about anxiety linked with COVID-19. There are very few studies conducted to understand the needs of the mentally ill during this pandemic. Aim: The study aimed to assess and compare the anxiety, knowledge, attitude, and preventive practices related to COVID-19 among people with and without psychiatric illnesses. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among patients with psychiatric illnesses and their caregivers in the psychiatry department of a tertiary hospital. All consenting adults with a diagnosed psychiatric illness and scoring < 3 in the Clinical Global Impression-Severity scale were included in the case group. All consenting adult caregivers who accompany the patients were included in the reference group. Coronavirus Anxiety Scale and Knowledge, Attitude, and Preventive Practices towards COVID-19 Questionnaire were administered. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS (19.0 version). Results: Less than 10% of the participants in both the groups had COVID-related anxiety. 98.3% of the participants in both the groups knew that isolation and treatment of COVID-19-affected individuals can prevent the spread of the virus. Avoidance of handshaking (case – 85% and reference – 81.7%) and going out of home unnecessarily (case – 83.3% and reference – 81.7%) were the predominant preventive practices in both the groups. Only, the attitude had a statistically significant difference between both the groups (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Patients with psychiatric illness had fair knowledge, and they followed preventive practices toward COVID-19 that are comparable with healthy individuals. There were discrepancies between their knowledge and preventive practices.

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