Background: Global pandemic resulted from the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) demands mental health concerns on the affected population. We examine the time-course shift of psychological burden among suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. Methods: Participants with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were included in the cohort. Consecutive surveys were conducted upon hospital admission, discharge, and during outpatient follow-up by adapting the 5-item brief symptom rating scale (BSRS-5) assessing psychological symptoms including anxiety, depression, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, and insomnia. The sixth measure to observe suicidal ideation was also included. Results: A total of 109 eligible patients participated in the study, in which 83.49% reported no distress upon hospital admission, while 2.75%, 3.66%, and 10.1% patients were assessed as being with severe, moderate and mild psychological distress, respectively. Overall, age, sex, and history of contact did not significantly differ between patients with and without psychological distress. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that patients admitted during April–May (OR: 7.66, 95% CI: 1.46–40.28) and presented with symptoms including sore throat (OR: 4.24, 95% CI: 1.17–15.29) and malaise (OR: 5.24, 95% CI: 1.21–22.77) showed significantly higher risk of psychological distress. Cough symptom interestingly showed lower risk of emotional distress (OR: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.08–0.81). Subsequent surveys upon hospital discharge and during outpatient follow-up revealed steadily declining distress among all cohort. Conclusion: At least 16.5% of our cohort reported psychological distress upon hospital admission, with distinct time-dependent decline. Access to mental health support, alongside with promoting positive activities for good mental health are pivotal for those directly affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1602-1610
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Emotional distress
  • Holistic medicine
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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