Do contact precautions cause depression? A two-year study at a tertiary care medical centre

H. R. Day, E. N. Perencevich, A. D. Harris, S. S. Himelhoch, C. H. Brown, A. L. Gruber-Baldini, E. Dotter, D. J. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Contact precautions, used to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases, include the wearing of gowns and gloves for room entry. Previous small studies have shown an association between contact precautions and increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. A retrospective cohort of all patients admitted to a tertiary care centre over two years was studied to assess the relationship between contact precautions and depression or anxiety. During the two-year period, there were 70 275 admissions including 28 564 unique non-intensive-care-unit (ICU), non-psychiatric admissions. After adjusting for potential confounders, contact precautions were associated with depression [odds ratio (OR) 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-1.5] but not with anxiety (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7-1.1) in the non-ICU population. Depression was 40% more prevalent among general inpatients on contact precautions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-107
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by 1 K08 HS18111-01 AHRQ to D.J.M., 5K24AI079040-02 NIH to A.D.H. and VA HSR&D Merit IIR, 05-123 to E.N.P.


  • Anxiety
  • Contact precautions
  • Depression
  • Isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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