An observational study to evaluate psychological experience and social stigmas in COVID-19 patients: a prospective study on home isolated patients

Ankit R. Mistry, Parth Gupta, Sagar R. Bhimani, Kamlesh P. Patel, Supriya D. Malhotra, Pratik R. Patel


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused significant distress. Apart from evident physical symptoms in infected cases, it has caused serious damage to public mental health. The present study was carried out to assess disease burden, fear and stigma associated in home isolated patients.

Methods: A Prospective, observational study of 8 weeks began after IEC approval in diagnosed COVID 19 patients who were home isolated and visited by the researcher as part of Sanjeevni home care service launched by the municipal corporation. Number of patients turning symptomatic from asymptomatic was recorded. Frequency for transmission was also noted. Fear and social stigma by Fear of COVID 19 scale (FCV-19S) and Stigma scale was measured respectively.

Results: A total of 746 patients were included in the study (mean age: 40.2±16.2 years). About 105 patients (14.07%) suffered from co-morbidities like Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity. About 38.47% were asymptomatic while 61.53% were symptomatic during their home isolation period. Among asymptomatic patients, 48.78% became symptomatic during their period of home isolation and follow up. A family member being found positive was 35.19% from asymptomatic patients while 34.85% from symptomatic patients. The mean score of the patients for fear and stigma in our study was 14.74±5.13 and 35.13±8.48 respectively.

Conclusions: Both symptomatic as well as asymptomatic patients can transmit the disease with equal frequency. Asymptomatic at diagnosis also converts to symptomatic in almost half of the population. This further highlights the importance of home isolation. This was the first time we have used a Stigma and Fear scale in patients affected by COVID 19 who were home isolated. Higher score of Fear scale was seen in >50 years of age.  


COVID 19, Home isolation, Fear of COVID 19 scale, Stigma scale, Stigmatization

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