Depression Severity Among Patients with Psychiatric Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Yung E1, Yin J1, Park J2, Periyanayagam U1
1Komodo Health, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2Komodo Health, San Francisco, USA

OBJECTIVES: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health is not yet well-studied. This study's objective is to describe demographic characteristics of the population diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and to compare PHQ9 scores before and after the pandemic.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed using Komodo Health's healthcare claims and EMR data, which included Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9) survey responses. The study's baseline and follow-up periods were set as one year before and after 03/01/2020. Patients selected were 18 years of age, had a MDD, GAD, or other psychiatric diagnosis in both periods, and had taken at least one PHQ9 survey in both periods, resulting in 10,433 patients. Demographic characteristics were described across age, gender, and race/ethnicity, and a subgroup analysis was performed on PHQ9 scores and depression categories using averages (mean, SD) and odds ratios.

RESULTS: Demographic analysis showed depression severity correlated with patients who were younger, female, and Black or Hispanic. Younger patients (<30) were more likely than older (30) to be in the moderately severe category or worse (PHQ9 score15) in both time periods (ORs 1.72 and 1.62, p<0.001). This was also true for female as compared to male (ORs 1.45 and 1.49, p<0.001), and Black or Hispanic as compared to White (ORs 1.87 and 1.47, p<0.001). However, mean PHQ9 scores tended to decrease in the follow-up period. The overall mean decreased slightly from 6.28 (SD 6.05) to 5.68 (SD 5.82), which was consistent in nearly all age, gender, and race/ethnicity subcategories.

CONCLUSIONS: While the improvements in average PHQ9 scores were counterintuitive, given the harmful impacts of the pandemic, existing correlations between demographics and depression severity remained. One possible explanation is that this cohort definition selected for patients who received more consistent mental healthcare. Further study will investigate this and other possible factors.

Conference/Value in Health Info

2023-05, ISPOR 2023, Boston, MA, USA

Value in Health, Volume 26, Issue 6, S2 (June 2023)

Acceptance Code



Health Policy & Regulatory, Study Approaches

Topic Subcategory

Electronic Medical & Health Records, Health Disparities & Equity



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