J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2022 Feb;61(1):1-10. 10.4306/jknpa.2022.61.1.1.

Psychiatric Inpatient Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review

  • 1Department of Geriatric Psychiatry, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Korea


There are multitudinous obstacles in psychiatric inpatient treatment in the face of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, there are few guidelines or recommendations for the operation of psychiatric wards in Korea. This study reviewed the impact and changed patterns of psychiatric hospitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations and cases for psychiatric hospitalization. From keyword search of electronic databases, a total of 72 studies was eligible to review. It was reported that the diagnostic distribution of the patient population requiring psychiatric hospitalization before and after COVID-19 might change, and the severity of hospitalized patients might become higher after COVID-19. Although a causal relationship could not be established at that time, a confirmed case of COVID-19 appeared to impact psychiatric symptoms. 1) Consistent screening tests and symptom monitoring, 2) proper wearing of masks and personal protective equipment by patients and treatment staff, 3) distancing and limiting the number of inpatients, 4) limiting unnecessary visits and visits by outsiders, 5) close cooperation and linkage between treatment staff, and 6) referral, were consistently recommended. In addition, several works recommended non-face-to-face visits during hospitalization for patient recovery, and some attempts were made to provide virtual psychotherapy or prescriptions. It is necessary to flexibly operate the details by accommodating the needs of the mental health system for psychiatric inpatient treatment in the pandemic period. Future attempts are necessary to search through systematic reviews by integrating the reported studies.


COVID-19; Preventive psychiatry; Mentally ill persons; Inpatients
Full Text Links
  • JKNA
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr