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Study, Jun/22:Impact of COVID-19 on benzo usage in psychiatric inpatient units


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The full title of this Australian study is "The impact of COVID-19 on benzodiazepine usage in psychiatric inpatient units".

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35144489/

 

Abstract

 

Objective: This study aims to investigate whether COVID-19 has led to increased usage of benzodiazepines in acute psychiatric settings.

 

Method: We evaluated the rates of benzodiazepine usage in two acute psychiatric inpatient units over a period of two years, 2019 and 2020 (the year of the pandemic). Rates of oral atorvastatin usage over the same period were used as a comparator.

 

Results: We saw a significant increase in the usage of benzodiazepines in the period between April and December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 despite a decline in the total number of admissions in 2020. Usage peaked further at the time of eased pandemic restrictions which coincided with higher rates of emergency department mental health (MH) presentations and acute MH hospital admissions. We also noticed higher rates of substance use disorder recorded on admission. Hospital leave restrictions due to COVID-19 also led to further restrictions on smoking.

 

Conclusion: Benzodiazepine usage increased in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study encourages more research to better understand the impact of the pandemic on acute psychiatric settings.

 

Full Study:

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8841396/

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