A study of factors affecting the health seeking behaviour of people with pre-existing mental illness during the COVID-10 pandemic

  • Sudha R Chengalpatu medical College &hospital
  • Sudhakar S
  • Ranganathan T
  • Kannan P.P
Keywords: Health Seeking Behaviour, COVID 19 Pandemic, Mental illness



Health or care seeking behavior has been defined as any action undertaken by individuals who perceive themselves to have a health problem or to be ill for the purpose of finding an appropriate remedy. A little understanding exists concerning socio-ecological barriers experience when seeking mental health care. we aimed at determining the factors that affect health seeking behavior of people with preexisting mental illness during COVID19 pandemic.


A Cross sectional study done for three months duration at Department of psychiatry, Chengalpattu Medical College & Hospital with sample size of 105. Ethical committee clearance was obtained.105 patients (age >18 years) consecutive patients having an International Classification of Disease 10 (ICD-10) psychiatric diagnosis, were included. Informed consent was obtained. Data regarding Socio demographic and clinical profile was obtained.


In our study,39% of the patients belonged to 30-45 and 46-60 years of age, 6.7% of patients were between the age of above 60. 60% of study participants were male and the rest were female.69.5 % of patients had financial crisis ,70.5% of patients had decrease in the monthly income of the family by 30%or more.60% of patients had difficulty in travel to the hospital due to lack of transport facility during COVID pandemic.


Factors determining health-seeking behavior can help address problems and delay in early identification and optimal management of mental disorders during pandemic. Implementing community-based strategies to support resilience and psychologically vulnerable individuals during the COVID-19 crisis is fundamental for any community.