Psychosocial experiences and coping mechanisms among Ebola survivors

Added June 11, 2020

Citation: James PB, Wardle J, Steel A, et al. Post‐Ebola psychosocial experiences and coping mechanisms among Ebola survivors: a systematic review. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 2019 Jun;24(6):671-91.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a psychological and psychosocial burden on patients. Existing research on the psychological impact of other infectious diseases, such as Ebola, on survivors may provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies on the post-discharge psychological distress experienced by Ebola survivors, the reactions of families and communities to them, and their coping mechanisms to address psychosocial challenges. They did not restrict their searches by study location or language of publication and did the search in November 2018. They included 24 studies, which had used quantitative (11 studies), qualitative (7), cohort (3) and mixed-methods designs (3).

What was found: Various forms of psychological distress were prevalent among Ebola survivors,

Depression was one of the most common psychological outcomes for Ebola survivors.

Family and community responses to Ebola survivors ranged from acceptance to rejection, isolation, stigmatisation and discrimination.

Coping strategies for psychological distress among Ebola survivors included engagement with religious faith and support groups.


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