Background: Among healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients, general practitioners (GPs) are under considerable pressure and may develop adverse mental health outcomes. Objectives: To assess mental health outcomes on GPs working during the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore their associations with personal characteristics and features of GP practices. Methods: Observational cross-sectional study conducted on a sample of GPs working in Verona province (Italy) during the first pandemic wave. Participants were invited to complete a web-based form addressing socio-demographic and work-related information, previous practice organization, practice re-organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a set of measures for post-traumatic stress (IES-R), anxiety (SAS), depression (PHQ-9), and burnout (MBI-GS). Results: A total of 215 GPs (38.3% of the eligible population) participated. Overall, 44.7% reported COVID-19-related traumatic events; among these, 35.9% (95% CI, 26%‒46%) developed symptoms of post-traumatic distress. Furthermore, 36% (95% CI, 29%‒43%) reported symptoms of anxiety, 17.9% (95% CI, 12%‒23%) symptoms of at least moderate depression, and 25.4% (95% CI, 19%‒32%) symptoms of burnout. Multivariate regressions showed that being quarantined or admitted for COVID-19 was associated with all the mental health outcomes considered. Being female, working in rural settings, and having less professional experience were associated with higher anxiety and depression. The ability to diagnose COVID-19 increased self-perceived professional efficacy, thus contributing to burnout reduction. Conclusion: The high prevalence of adverse mental health outcomes among GPs during the pandemic highlights the importance of timely interventions in this population and promoting targeted preventive actions in the event of future healthcare crises.

The psychological impact of COVID-19 among primary care physicians in the province of Verona, Italy: a cross-sectional study during the first pandemic wave

Lasalvia, Antonio
;
Amaddeo, Francesco;Bonetto, Chiara
2022

Abstract

Background: Among healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients, general practitioners (GPs) are under considerable pressure and may develop adverse mental health outcomes. Objectives: To assess mental health outcomes on GPs working during the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore their associations with personal characteristics and features of GP practices. Methods: Observational cross-sectional study conducted on a sample of GPs working in Verona province (Italy) during the first pandemic wave. Participants were invited to complete a web-based form addressing socio-demographic and work-related information, previous practice organization, practice re-organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a set of measures for post-traumatic stress (IES-R), anxiety (SAS), depression (PHQ-9), and burnout (MBI-GS). Results: A total of 215 GPs (38.3% of the eligible population) participated. Overall, 44.7% reported COVID-19-related traumatic events; among these, 35.9% (95% CI, 26%‒46%) developed symptoms of post-traumatic distress. Furthermore, 36% (95% CI, 29%‒43%) reported symptoms of anxiety, 17.9% (95% CI, 12%‒23%) symptoms of at least moderate depression, and 25.4% (95% CI, 19%‒32%) symptoms of burnout. Multivariate regressions showed that being quarantined or admitted for COVID-19 was associated with all the mental health outcomes considered. Being female, working in rural settings, and having less professional experience were associated with higher anxiety and depression. The ability to diagnose COVID-19 increased self-perceived professional efficacy, thus contributing to burnout reduction. Conclusion: The high prevalence of adverse mental health outcomes among GPs during the pandemic highlights the importance of timely interventions in this population and promoting targeted preventive actions in the event of future healthcare crises.
COVID-19
anxiety
burnout
depression
general practitioners
post-traumatic stress symptoms
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1048350
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