Changes in Diagnostic and Demographic Characteristics of Patients Seeking Mental Health Care During the Early COVID-19 Pandemic in a Large, Community-Based Health Care System.

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The early COVID-19 pandemic resulted in great psychosocial disruption and stress, raising speculation that psychiatric disorders may worsen. This study aimed to identify patients vulnerable to worsening mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.This retrospective observational study used electronic health records from March 9 to May 31 in 2019 (n = 94,720) and 2020 (n = 94,589) in a large, community-based health care system. Percent change analysis compared variables standardized to the average patient population for the respective time periods.Compared to 2019, psychiatric visits increased significantly (P 

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Authors: Kathryn K Ridout, Mubarika Alavi, Samuel J Ridout, Maria T Koshy, Brooke Harris, Inderpreet Dhillon, Sameer Awsare, Constance M Weisner, Cynthia I Campbell, Esti Iturralde