Mental health outcomes of adults hospitalized for COVID-19: A systematic review

Stephanie Veazie, Brenda Lafavor, Kathryn Vela, Sarah Young, Nina A. Sayer, Kathleen F. Carlson, Maya E. O'Neil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Patients hospitalized for COVID-19 may be at high risk of mental health (MH) disorders. This systematic review assesses MH outcomes among adults during and after hospitalization for COVID-19 and ascertains MH care utilization and resource needs. Methods: We searched multiple medical literature databases for studies published December 2019 to March 2021. Studies of ≥ 200 participants were synthesized. One reviewer completed article selection, data abstraction and assessed study quality and strength of evidence, with verification by a second. Results: Fifty articles met preliminary inclusion criteria; 19 articles that included ≥ 200 participants were synthesized. Evidence from these primarily fair-quality studies suggests many patients experience symptoms of depression (9–66%), anxiety (30–39%), and insomnia (24–40%) during and 3 months after hospitalization for COVID-19. However, patients infrequently receive a new MH disorder diagnosis 6 months after hospitalization (5% are diagnosed with a new mood disorder, 7% anxiety disorder, and 3% insomnia). Some hospitalized patients – including women and those with more severe COVID-19 – may be at higher risk of poor MH outcomes. Data on MH care utilization and resource needs are currently limited. Limitations: Most included studies were small, did not report the proportion of participants with preexisting MH disorders, and did not use comparison groups. Conclusions: While many patients experience MH symptoms after hospitalization for COVID-19, most do not go on to develop a new MH disorder. Future studies should report whether participants have preexisting MH disorders and compare patients hospitalized for COVID-19 to patients hospitalized for other causes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100312
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Hospitalization
  • Mental health
  • Post-acute
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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