Objective Emergency psychological interventions are needed in patients with COVID-19. During the pandemic, psychological counseling services have been provided using online platforms to address adverse psychological impacts and symptoms in patients and the general population. We investigated the effects of telepsychotherapy on emotional well-being and psychological distress in patients affected by COVID-19. Methods Forty-five Sicilian patients who had contracted COVID-19 joined "Telecovid Sicilia" from March to June 2020. Participants completed self-assessment questionnaires and psychological testing to measure levels of anxiety, presence of depressive symptoms, and altered circadian rhythm with consequent sleep disorders and psychological distress. Individual telepsychotherapy services were provided for 1 hour, twice a week, for 16 sessions in total. Results We enrolled 45 patients (42.2% women). We found significant changes between baseline and the end of follow-up in all outcome measures, especially depression (chi(2) (1) = 30.1; effect size [ES] = 0.82), anxiety (chi(2) (1) = 37.4; ES = 0.91), and paranoid ideation (chi(2) (1) = 5.6; ES = 0.35). The proportion of participants with sleep disorders decreased to 84.1% after intervention (chi(2) (1) = 58.6; ES = 1.14). Conclusion A telepsychotherapeutic approach showed promising effects on psychological symptoms, with significantly reduced patient anxiety and depression.
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