Supervised quarantine may compromise psychological well-being. There is equivocal evidence regarding psychological distress in compulsory supervised quarantine facilities.
To evaluate the mental well-being of people undergoing and working in a supervised COVID-19 quarantine facility.
Mixed methodology was used, including a cross-sectional analysis of psychological distress (DASS-21) and individual semi-structured interviews (10 professionals maintaining quarantine and 10 quarantined persons).
Overall levels of psychological distress were low. Those quarantining from Victoria had significantly lower depression scores compared to all other departure points. Qualitative analysis identified distress being linked to a lack of control, isolation and miscommunication
Quarantine was associated with low levels of psychological distress. This was lower in people travelling from Victoria, a state where there were higher rates of infections and restrictions. Interviews showed that psychological distress was conceptualised as being associated with supervised quarantine, but participants recognised the overall importance of quarantine.
Implications for practice
Mental health professionals supporting quarantined people should consider original departure points may predict levels of psychological distress. Implementing ways of gaining control through affording choice, improving communication channels and establishing peer support networks within quarantine settings may help maintain mental well-being.