Network Analysis of Depression, Anxiety, Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, Insomnia, Pain, and Fatigue in Clinically Stable Older Patients With Psychiatric Disorders During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Wen Li, Na Zhao, Xiaona Yan, Xiuying Xu, Siyun Zou, Huan Wang, Yulong Li, Xiangdong Du, Lan Zhang, Qinge Zhang, Teris Cheung, Gabor S. Ungvari, Chee H. Ng, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profound negative effects on the mental health of clinically stable older patients with psychiatric disorders. This study examined the influential nodes of psychiatric problems and their associations in this population using network analysis. Methods: Clinically stable older patients with psychiatric disorders were consecutively recruited from four major psychiatric hospitals in China from May 22 to July 15, 2020. Depressive and anxiety syndromes (depression and anxiety hereafter), insomnia, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), pain, and fatigue were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire, General Anxiety Disorder, Insomnia Severity Index, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist - Civilian Version, and Numeric Rating Scales for pain and fatigue, respectively. Results: A total of 1063 participants were included. The network analysis revealed that depression was the most influential node followed by anxiety as indicated by the centrality index of strength. In contrast, the edge connecting depression and anxiety was the strongest edge, followed by the edge connecting depression and insomnia, and the edge connecting depression and fatigue as indicated by edge-weights. The network structure was invariant by gender based on the network structure invariance test (M =.14, P =.20) and global strength invariance tests (S =.08, P =.30). Conclusions: Attention should be paid to depression and its associations with anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue in the screening and treatment of mental health problems in clinically stable older psychiatric patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • depression
  • network analysis
  • older psychiatric patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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