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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 112-119

Social and psychological consequences of “Quarantine”: A systematic review and application to India

Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Pratap Sharan
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_241_20

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Background: Quarantine has been used as a public health measure to contain the spread of communicable diseases. Its use in the current COVID-19 pandemic is based on experience from the past while handling other coronavirus infections. Objectives: The aim of this study is to synthesize the available literature focusing on the psychological and social consequences of quarantine. Materials and Methods: PubMed search for original research articles published in peer-reviewed journals in the English language was done. Studies focusing on psychological or social impact on quarantine were included. In view of the current pandemic being caused by coronavirus, studies were limited to the outbreak causing coronavirus diseases. Results: Psychological problems most commonly reported were anxiety, depression, acute, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Various other emotional problems, loneliness, anger, frustration, and psychosomatic problems were also reported. Quarantined individuals experience stigma and isolation. The literature on the purpose of quarantine, and referral pathways to obtain help and care seemed lacking. Literature from India and other low- and middle-income countries was scarce. Conclusion: There is a need to address the psychosocial issues emerging from the experience of quarantine. Mental health workers can play an important role in managing them, but it would require collaboration and good organizational support. More studies from developing countries can be planned in future.

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