APA House Call: Treating Trauma Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 25, 2020
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

It might be particularly difficult for psychiatrists to treat trauma patients through telehealth means.

The 2020 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting was cancelled this year, with plans made to convert the world-leading psychiatry conference into a two-part virtual session and educational platform for attendees.

In lieu of regular on-site coverage, HCPLive® will be running a series of interviews, insights, and reporting on topics that frequently headline the APA meeting—featuring familiar experts.

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forces virtually the entire world into social isolation, the medical field has taken to telehealth as a reasonable way to maintain non-urgent care without increasing the risk of infection.

Psychiatry might be 1 of the fields leading this charge, as many practices have already implemented some telehealth into their services.

However, some conditions may be more difficult than others to treat under these new circumstances.

In an interview with HCPLive®, David H. Jiang, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Morningside, explained how trauma might be particularly difficult to treat in the age of social isolation because the sense of trust is a major part of healing for trauma patients and they are often unable to regain that sense of comfort from telehealth appointments.

With that said, Jiang said psychiatrists must find a way to reach their patients and help them through this troubling time

Jiang also discussed how nurses and doctors may be more at risk for developing signs of trauma due to the unsustainable level of strain the COVID-19 virus is putting on the healthcare system and how prevalent feelings of disassociation may be for trauma patients.