Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Kurt DeVine, MD


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic caused many disruptions to millions of lives, especially with the enforcement of government shutdowns, isolations, and social distancing. These measures lead to increased anxiety and depression in the general population. With many high- risk patient populations having chronic comorbidities, accessing routine medical care and supplies became difficult during the pandemic.

Purpose: How has mental health affected the management of pre-existing comorbidities during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Methods: A comprehensive literature review was conducted using the research engine PubMed using the search terms: “pandemic”, “COVID-19”, “comorbidities”, “mental health”, “morbidity”, and “mortality”. Inclusion criteria were studies published after 2017. Exclusion criteria were studies that were systemic review cases or studies.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in higher rates of anxiety and depression among the general population. The differences in anxiety and depression among those with pre- existing comorbidities versus without may vary by race. The COVID-19 pandemic did affect the management of pre-existing comorbidities, but this was primarily independent to mental health status. Care was mostly affected by other factors such as difficulty accessing care and medical supplies.


SC 11.PAS.2022.Soto.A

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