CHAPEL – COVID-19 is much more than a physical threat. Four doctors at UNC-Chapel Hill are warning that over 30% of COVID-19 patients face “long-term, neuropsychiatric complications” and are urging that “future research is needed to inform appropriate interventions.”

The doctors published their article in the journal Psychiatry in Primary Care earlier this week.

“Over 30% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 may exhibit cognitive impairment, depression, and anxiety that persist for months after discharge,” reads the abstract of the article.

“These symptoms are even more common in patients who required intensive care for severe effects of the virus. In addition to the pandemic-related psychological stress, multiple biological mechanisms have been proposed to understand the neuropsychiatric symptoms observed with COVID-19. Given limited research regarding effective interventions, we recommend pharmacologic and behavioral strategies with established evidence in other medically-ill populations.”

Zev Nakamura, MD, Rebekah Nash, MD, PhD, Sarah Laughon, MD, and Donald Rosenstein, MD — all faculty in the UNC Department of Psychiatry – are the authors of the article.

“Long-term, neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 are common and consequential<‘ they wrote.

“Because these are likely to co-occur with other medical problems, patients recovering from COVID-19 are best managed in clinics with highly coordinated care across disciplines and medical specialties. Future research is needed to inform appropriate interventions.”

The report can be read online.