Association between discrimination and subsequent psychotic experiences in patients with COVID-19: A cohort study.

Publication date: Mar 25, 2024

Although cross-sectional studies have suggested that discrimination has a negative impact on the mental health of patients with COVID-19, no cohort studies with longitudinal data have established a causal relationship. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association between COVID-19-related discrimination and subsequent psychotic experiences in individuals who had contracted the disease. Secondary outcomes were PTSD symptoms, psychological distress, and suicidal ideation. We utilized inverse probability weighting and marginal structural models with robust standard errors to analyze the association, accounting for confounders and loss to follow-up. In a sensitivity analysis, we evaluated the robustness of the estimates to potential unmeasured confounding by analyzing E-values. Of 7760 participants who had contracted COVID-19, 5971 were included after excluding those with missing sociodemographic data. Of these, 1736 (29. 1 %) reported experiencing COVID-19-related discrimination. Of the 2559 participants who completed the study, 253 (9. 9 %) reported having at least one psychotic experience. Participants who reported experiencing any COVID-19-related discrimination showed a higher risk of subsequent psychotic experiences compared with participants without such discrimination (risk difference 6. 6 %, 95 % CI 4. 0 %-9. 9 %; risk ratio 1. 82, 95 % CI 1. 42-2. 47). A negative impact was also found in suicidal ideation, PTSD symptoms, and psychological distress. E-values demonstrated the robustness of some of the observed associations to unmeasured confounding. The study found that COVID-19-related discrimination was associated with subsequent psychotic experiences and other mental health outcomes in individuals who had contracted the disease. A study focusing on prevention strategies, such as an anti-discrimination campaign, is warranted.

Concepts Keywords
Accounting Post-traumatic stress disorder
Covid Prejudice
Ptsd Psychosis
Schizophr Schizophrenia


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH PTSD
disease MESH psychological distress
disease MESH suicidal ideation
disease MESH Long Covid
disease MESH Psychosis
disease MESH Schizophrenia
disease MESH Suicide

Original Article

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