Abstract Number: PB1211
Meeting: ISTH 2022 Congress
Background: In Germany, 68 patients with laboratory-confirmed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) are enrolled in a follow-up study of their anti-PF4-antibody response. During contact to the respective patients, it became evident, that beside a great variability of physical sequelae some of them also suffer from psychological distress.
Aims: We offered psychological support to patients who suffer from mental stress due to their experiences in connection with VITT. A particular challenge was that the patients are located throughout Germany with long distances to Greifswald. Therefore, both diagnostics and therapy were carried out telemedically.
Methods: VITT patients were offered to send in a brief symptom inventory (BSI-18) and provide informed consent, if they wanted to be contacted by specialized psychologists. To assess amount and severity of their symptoms, standardized questionnaires were sent (Table 1). Additionally, contacts between patients were realized as group video calls.
Results: Of 68 patients enrolled into the follow-up study, 20 sent back the first BSI-18 questionnaire and showed interest to be contacted by a psychologist; 14 completed all questionnaires (females n=10; median age 33.5y, range 23-74y). After first telephone call, ten patients expressed interest in further psychological treatment (14.7%).
Most of these patients were in good mental and physical state before vaccination. Patients showed a wide range in the level of the regained functioning. In the IES-R-5, six patients described symptoms that signify the likely presence of a post-traumatic stress disorder, especially those with delayed diagnosis due to the novelty of VITT. Nine patients suffered from fatigue, six severely.
VITT complications following vaccinations against COVID-19 were associated with great anxiety and sometimes trauma related physical symptoms.
Conclusion(s): Clinicians should be aware that psychological disorders can appear after VITT. Patients benefit from psychological support to cope with impairments of daily life, increased fatigue and increased anxiety in regard to decision making for booster vaccinations.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Schönborn L, Braune-Krickau M, Stiefel L, Greinacher A, Grabe H. Psychological support for patients with Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) in Germany [abstract]. https://abstracts.isth.org/abstract/psychological-support-for-patients-with-vaccine-induced-immune-thrombotic-thrombocytopenia-vitt-in-germany/. Accessed October 2, 2023.
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