The corona virus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected every domain of human health be it physical or mental. The uncertainty of disease progression in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to major psychological and psychiatric concerns that should not be overlooked. The interventions should be directed to the vulnerable population to help them mitigate the stress and anxiety caused by the infection and isolation. We evaluated the effect of meditation and breathing exercises on the well-being of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection under institutional isolation.
Materials and methods:
We conducted a randomized control trial on 84 subjects, 18 years and above, asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected patients under institutional isolation. Subjects were randomly and equally divided into a control group and interventional group. We measured the depression, anxiety, and stress levels as well as quality of sleep in patients after 7 days of meditation and breathing exercises in the intervention group versus standard care in the control group.
Meditation and breathing exercises had a statistically significant effect on the depression level (P < 0.001), stress level (P = 0.004), and the quality of sleep [trouble falling asleep (P = 0.007), trouble staying asleep (P = 0.004), and feel tired after waking up in the morning (P = 0.003)]. Further, the positive effect of intervention on the level of anxiety in patients under isolation was also observed; however, the difference was not found to be statistically significant (P = 0.528).
Meditation and breathing exercises have positive effects on depression, stress levels, and quality of sleep in COVID-19 positive patients under strict institutional isolation.
Anxiety; COVID-19; Depression; Meditation; SARS-CoV-2; Sleep; Stress.