Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Impact of Foehn Wind on Mental Distress among Patients in a Swiss Psychiatric Hospital

Version 1 : Received: 9 August 2022 / Approved: 17 August 2022 / Online: 17 August 2022 (04:04:41 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Mikutta, C.A.; Pervilhac, C.; Znoj, H.; Federspiel, A.; Müller, T.J. The Impact of Foehn Wind on Mental Distress among Patients in a Swiss Psychiatric Hospital. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 10831. Mikutta, C.A.; Pervilhac, C.; Znoj, H.; Federspiel, A.; Müller, T.J. The Impact of Foehn Wind on Mental Distress among Patients in a Swiss Psychiatric Hospital. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 10831.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 10831
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph191710831

Abstract

Psychiatric patients are particularly vulnerable to strong weather stimuli, such as foehn, a hot wind that occurs in the alps. However, there is a dearth of research regarding its impact on mental health. This study investigated the impact of foehn wind among patients of a psychiatric hospital located in a foehn area in the Swiss Alps. Analysis was based on anonymized datasets obtained from routine records on admission and discharge, including the Brief Symptom Checklist (BSCL) questionnaire, as well as sociodemographic parameters (age, sex, and diagnosis). Between 2013 and 2020 a total of 10,456 admission days and 10,575 discharge days were recorded. All meteorological data were extracted from the database of the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology of Switzerland. We estimated the effect of foehn on the BSCL items using a distributed lag model. Significant differences were found between foehn and non-foehn admissions in obsession-compulsion, Interpersonal Sensitivity, depression, Anxiety, Phobic Anxiety, Paranoid Ideation, and General Severity Index (GSI) (p <.05). Our findings suggest that foehn wind events may negatively affect specific mental health parameters in patients. More research is needed to fully understand the impact of foehn’s events on mental health.

Keywords

foehn wind; psychopathology; BSCL; mental health; weather; meteorological factors; climate change

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Psychiatry & Mental Health studies

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