Aims: Healthcare workers exposed to coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients could be psychologically distressed. This study aims to assess the magnitude of psychological distress and associated factors among hospital staff during the COVID-19 pandemic in a large tertiary hospital located in north-east Italy. Methods: All healthcare and administrative staff working in the Verona University Hospital (Veneto, Italy) during the COVID-19 pandemic were asked to complete a web-based survey from 21 April to 6 May 2020. Symptoms of post-traumatic distress, anxiety and depression were assessed, respectively, using the Impact of Event Scale (IES-R), the Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Personal socio-demographic information and job characteristics were also collected, including gender, age, living condition, having pre-existing psychological problems, occupation, length of working experience, hospital unit (ICUs and sub-intensive COVID-19 units vs. non-COVID-19 units). A multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with each of the three mental health outcomes. Results: A total of 2195 healthcare workers (36.9% of the overall hospital staff) participated in the study. Of the participants, 35.7% were nurses, 24.3% other healthcare staff, 16.4% residents, 13.9% physicians and 9.7% administrative staff. Nine per cent of healthcare staff worked in ICUs, 8% in sub-intensive COVID-19 units and 7.6% in other front-line services, while the remaining staff worked in hospital units not directly engaged with COVID-19 patients. Overall, 63.2% of participants reported COVID-related traumatic experiences at work and 53.8% (95% CI 51.0%-56.6%) showed symptoms of post-traumatic distress; moreover, 50.1% (95% CI 47.9%-52.3%) showed symptoms of clinically relevant anxiety and 26.6% (95% CI 24.7%-28.5%) symptoms of at least moderate depression. Multivariable logistic regressions showed that women, nurses, healthcare workers directly engaged with COVID-19 patients and those with pre-existing psychological problems were at increased risk of psychopathological consequences of the pandemic. Conclusions: The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare staff working in a highly burdened geographical of north-east Italy is relevant and to some extent greater than that reported in China. The study provides solid grounds to elaborate and implement interventions pertaining to psychology and occupational health.
|Titolo:||The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care workers in a highly burdened area of north-east Italy|
LASALVIA, Antonio (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|
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