Design and Implementation of a Regional Inpatient Psychiatry Unit for Patients who are Positive for Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2

Andrew Angelino, Constantine G. Lyketsos, M. Shafeeq Ahmed, James B. Potash, Bernadette A. Cullen

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

Abstract

Background: Patients with psychiatric illnesses are particularly vulnerable to highly contagious, droplet-spread organisms such as SARS-CoV-2. Patients with mental illnesses may not be able to consistently follow up behavioral prescriptions to avoid contagion, and they are frequently found in settings with close contact and inadequate infection control, such as group homes, homeless shelters, residential rehabilitation centers, and correctional facilities. Furthermore, inpatient psychiatry settings are generally designed as communal spaces, with heavy emphasis on group and milieu therapies. As such, inpatient psychiatry services are vulnerable to rampant spread of contagion. Objective: With this in mind, the authors outline the decision process and ultimate design and implementation of a regional inpatient psychiatry unit for patients infected with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 and share key points for consideration in implementing future units elsewhere. Conclusion: A major takeaway point of the analysis is the particular expertise of trained experts in psychosomatic medicine for treating patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychosomatics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • consultation-liaison psychiatry
  • infection control
  • infectious disease
  • mental health
  • respiratory disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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