Psychiatry Investig.  2018 Apr;15(4):355-360. 10.30773/pi.2017.10.25.1.

Psychiatric Findings in Suspected and Confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Patients Quarantined in Hospital: A Retrospective Chart Analysis

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, National Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Maum & Maum Psychiatric Clinic, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Center for Infectious Disease, National Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the psychiatric complications or risk factors for depression in suspected or confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) patients quarantined in hospital.
A retrospective chart review was performed of all the patients admitted to the acute MERS inpatient unit at the NMC during the 2015 outbreak.
30 (75%) were confirmed to be MERS-CoV positive among 40 admitted cases. Among the 24 MERS survivors, 17 (70.8%) exhibited psychiatric symptoms and 10 (41.7%) received a psychiatric diagnosis and medication during their hospital stay. Suspected MERS patients did not exhibit psychiatric symptoms or receive a psychiatric diagnosis. 27 suspected or confirmed MERS patients (age 41.15±18.64, male 37.0%) completed psychological assessments. A multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey-Short form and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised scores were significantly positively correlated with Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scores.
Our findings indicate that the acute treatment of MERS-CoV infections in quarantine had a significant impact on the patients’ mental health. Furthermore, assessment of the risk factors for depression may identify vulnerable patients who require psychiatric care and attention during hospital quarantine.


Middle east respiratory syndrome; Quarantined hospitalization; Psychiatric symptoms; Depression; Emerging infectious diseases
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