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Psychiatry Investig > Volume 20(1); 2023 > Article
Psychiatry Investigation 2023;20(1):52-61.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.30773/pi.2022.0150    Published online January 25, 2023.
Mental Health Problems During COVID-19 and Attitudes Toward Digital Therapeutics
Manjae Kwon1,2  , Young-Chul Jung1,2  , Deokjong Lee1,4  , Jaeun Ahn1,3 
1Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3Department of Psychiatry, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea
4Department of Psychiatry, Yongin Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yongin, Republic of Korea
Correspondence: Jaeun Ahn ,Tel: +82-31-900-3235, Fax: +82-31-900-0049, Email: jaeun.ahn@nhimc.or.kr
Received: June 5, 2022   Revised: August 14, 2022   Accepted: October 23, 2022   Published online: January 25, 2023
Abstract
Objective
We aimed to elucidate public mental health problems and associated factors during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Furthermore, we evaluated people’s attitudes toward digital therapeutics during the pandemic.
Methods
Data was collected online from participants, aged between 20–50 without any history of mental illness, from June 1st to June 30th 2021. The survey consisted of questions regarding demographics, changes during pandemic and attitude towards digital therapeutics, and mental health measures.
Results
Among the total of 445 participants, 49.2% reported significant level of stress and 13.5% and 7.0% met the screening criteria for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, respectively. Significant predictive factors for mental health problems were-younger age group, female sex, currently being treated for medical or surgical disease, change in the amount of time spent on mobile device or computer after pandemic, change in household income, and change in work environment due to pandemic. Furthermore, 35.1% of participants, considered psychiatric consultation, at least slightly, but were hesitant to receive it due to the fear of contacting COVID-19 at the clinics. Instead, 54.4% of them preferred using digital therapeutics as an alternative to visiting offline clinics.
Conclusion
We demonstrated that COVID-19 increased mental health problems along with access problems and identified their predictive factors. Digital therapeutics emerged as a viable solution to mental health problems and it was well-received by those in need of psychiatric consultation. Therefore, development and implementation of digital therapeutics should be considered to improve the mental health of people.
Key words   Coronavirus; COVID-19; Digital therapeutics; Pandemic; Mental health


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