This survey-based study aimed to explore the mental health status and psychological care needs of 933 health-care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 outbreak. Sociodemographic data, exposure to COVID-19, perception of psychological care needs, depression, anxiety, somatization, and post-traumatic symptoms were concurrently assessed. The majority of the sample (71%) suffered from somatization and 55% of distress. Female care workers experienced higher levels of anxiety (d = 0.50) and somatization symptoms (d = 0.82) and stated they needed psychological care more than men (p < .001). Younger participants (aged <40 years-old) reported higher levels of somatization, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic symptoms (effects size range from d = 0.22 to d = 0.31). Working in a high infected area (red-zones) and directly with COVID-19 patients (front-line) affected the psychological health of participants to a smaller degree. Health-care workers who lost one of their patients reported higher levels of depression (d = 0.22), anxiety (d = 0.19), post-traumatic symptoms (d = 0.30), and psychological care needs than those who did not have the same experience (p < .01). Health-care workers who perceived the need for psychological support scored above the clinical alarming level (cut-off scores) in all the psychological scales, ranging from 76% to 88%. Psychological distress (p < .01), anxiety (p < .05), depression (p < .05), and being women (p < .01) contribute to explain the need for psychological care and accounted for 32% of the variance in this sample. These findings point out the importance to consider the psychological impact of COVID-19 on Italian health-care workers and strongly suggest establishing psychological support services for providing adequate professional care.

Fragile heroes. The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health-care workers in Italy

Conti C.;Fontanesi L.;Lanzara R.;Rosa I.;Porcelli P.
2020-01-01

Abstract

This survey-based study aimed to explore the mental health status and psychological care needs of 933 health-care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 outbreak. Sociodemographic data, exposure to COVID-19, perception of psychological care needs, depression, anxiety, somatization, and post-traumatic symptoms were concurrently assessed. The majority of the sample (71%) suffered from somatization and 55% of distress. Female care workers experienced higher levels of anxiety (d = 0.50) and somatization symptoms (d = 0.82) and stated they needed psychological care more than men (p < .001). Younger participants (aged <40 years-old) reported higher levels of somatization, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic symptoms (effects size range from d = 0.22 to d = 0.31). Working in a high infected area (red-zones) and directly with COVID-19 patients (front-line) affected the psychological health of participants to a smaller degree. Health-care workers who lost one of their patients reported higher levels of depression (d = 0.22), anxiety (d = 0.19), post-traumatic symptoms (d = 0.30), and psychological care needs than those who did not have the same experience (p < .01). Health-care workers who perceived the need for psychological support scored above the clinical alarming level (cut-off scores) in all the psychological scales, ranging from 76% to 88%. Psychological distress (p < .01), anxiety (p < .05), depression (p < .05), and being women (p < .01) contribute to explain the need for psychological care and accounted for 32% of the variance in this sample. These findings point out the importance to consider the psychological impact of COVID-19 on Italian health-care workers and strongly suggest establishing psychological support services for providing adequate professional care.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/773752
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