Psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it in COVID-19

Citation: Brooks SK, Webster RK, Smith LE, et al. The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. Lancet 2020; 395: 912-20

What is this? During the COVID-19 pandemic, some people are staying in a dedicated quarantine facility.

In this systematic review, the authors evaluated research on the psychological impact of quarantine and how to alleviate it. They limited their search to articles published in English and Italian in peer-reviewed journals. The review was published in February 2020 but it is unclear when the search was done. They identified 24 relevant studies.

What works: The psychological impact of quarantine can be wide-ranging and long lasting, but voluntary quarantine is associated with less distress and fewer long-term complications.

In situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, people who are quarantined need to be given information to help them understand the situation, including the rationale for quarantine.

Adquate supplies (both general and medical) should be made availale to people in quarantine.

The quarantine period should be as short as possible.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: It is uncertain whether other public health measures (such as social distancing, cancellation of mass gatherings, and school closures) are more favourable than quarantine.

 

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

 

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