COVID-19, Smoking, and Schizophrenia: A Prospective 1 Year Outcome Analysis

High rates of smoking have been linked to more serious outcomes related to coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, and preliminary evidence from China indicates this is most likely the case for COVID-19 as well. The prevalence of smoking among patients with schizophrenia is much higher than the general population and thus they may be a high-risk population to suffer severe and disproportionate morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.

This study aims to recruit a sample of patients with a schizophrenia spectrum illness and to follow their outcomes prospectively for a period of one year.  Participants will be asked to provide information about their physical health including COVID-19 related questions, about smoking habits and mental health symptoms. This study offers us the unique opportunity to better understand the morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19 in a high-risk population of patients with schizophrenia, and  the risks linking cigarette smoking to outcome of COVID-19 infection.

Individuals are eligible if they

  • Have a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
  • Are attending the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre for long acting injection or bloodwork monitoring
  • Are able to provide informed consent
  • Are 18 years or older
  • Are able to speak, read, and write in English

Location of study 

Over the phone or in-person at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

Recruitment via

  • Self-Referral (by participant) 
  • Internal Referral (by ROMHC staff)

Principal Investigator

Dr. David Attwood


Dr. David Attwood
(613) 722-6521 x 7020