Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Psychological impact of COVID-19, isolation, and quarantine: a cross-sectional study

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-20, 14:37 authored by Ghufran Jassim, Mariam Jameel, Edwina Brennan, Manaf Yusuf, Nebras Hasan, Yusuf Alwatani

Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in mandatory isolation and quarantine. The objective of this study was to describe and compare the psychological impacts of COVID-19 isolation and quarantine.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional retrospective study. Participants were Bahrainis aged >18 years who had undergone either isolation or quarantine. Eligible participants were identified from the COVID-19 contacts (quarantine) and cases (isolation) database of Bahrain. Validated questionnaires for self-reported depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies - depression [CES-D]), posttraumatic stress (Impact of Event Scale - revised [IES-R]), and perceived stigma (Stigma Scale [SS]) were administered.

Results: Mean CES-D, IES-R, and SS scores were 16.76±5.65, 13.50±14.67, and 25.29±7.99, respectively. In sum, 40% (205 of 502) of participants showed clinically significant depression, and <20% (98 of 502) had indications of some posttraumatic distress, with greater depression and distress in those isolated than those quarantined. Perceived stigma was reported by 53.4% (268 of 502) of participants, more prominent among those quarantined. Depression and posttraumatic stress scores were significantly higher in females, college students, those with a history of mental health conditions, knowing a COVID-19 fatality, and experiencing social conflict. Age was a significant variable correlated with all three scales, with younger participants indicating more distress, depression, and stigma. Duration of segregation was significantly correlated with CES-D, score showing more depressive symptoms as the duration of isolation increased. Significant predictors were age, sex, history of mental illness, and COVID-19 status.

Conclusion: Isolated and quarantined individuals reported depression, perceived stigma, and to a lesser extent distress. Psychological interventions identifying and targeting people with different-severity psychological burdens are in urgent need.



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Published Citation

Jassim G. et al. Psychological impact of COVID-19, isolation, and quarantine: a cross-sectional study. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2021;17:1413-1421.

Publication Date

11 May 2021

PubMed ID



  • RCSI Bahrain


Dove Press


  • Published Version (Version of Record)