Female gender and psychological profile of outpatients attending Post-COVID-19 follow-up: some preliminary results

Annamaria Petito, Annalisa Loconsole, Melania Severo, Elisabetta Ricciardi, Marco Angelillo, Salvatore Iuso, Stefania Ferrante, Giulia Scioscia, Paola Pierucci, Andrea Portacci, Donato Lacedonia, Giovanna Elisiana Carpagnano, Francesco Mancini, Maria Grazia Foschino Barbaro


Background: The Post-COVID syndrome, characterized by persistence of psychological, neurologic, and physical symptoms, affects a large proportion of COVID-19 survivors. Specifically, females seem at increased risk of experiencing more psychological manifestations of Post-COVID Syndrome.

Methods: A sample of 60 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) confirmed COVID-19 outpatients (48.3% female; age mean= 56.1; SD= 10.8) attending an outpatient clinic dedicated to Post-COVID-19 follow-up was enrolled for this study. Each participant completed the Psychosocial Index to assess stress, well-being, psychological distress, and illness behavior, the Impact of Event Scale – Revised to evaluate post-traumatic stress symptoms and, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale to assess anxiety and depression; the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale to assess resilience; and N scale of NEO Five Factor to assess “Neuroticism”.

Results: More than half of patients showed clinical or subclinical anxiety and depressive symptoms. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were found in 58.3% of sample. Resilience levels were in a medium range (71.0 ± 15.2). Statistical analysis found a predominance of depressive symptomatology (p = 0.0453), hyperarousal manifestations (p = 0.0049), perception of stress (p = 0.0001) and trait of neuroticism in women (p < 0.0001). Our results show psychological distress, post-traumatic symptoms, poor psychological well-being, depression and anxiety symptoms for several weeks after infection in patients who had COVID-19. Moreover, female outpatients had a higher perception of distress, hyperarousal manifestations and depressive symptomatology than the male counterpart.                    Conclusions: As a novelty, this study gives us a deeper understanding of the psychological Post-COVID-19 profile in a clinical sample of pneumological outpatients. Moreover, it focused on gender differences identifying the female gender as a risk factor with respect to psychological illness. Our findings suggest the relevance of planning personalized interventions and assessment aimed at higher psychopathological risk groups, such as females.


Gender; medical setting; Post-COVID syndrome; Outpatients; Psychological profile.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13129/2282-1619/mjcp-3658


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