2020s Heroes Are Not Fearless: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Wellbeing and Emotions of Italian Health Care Workers During Italy Phase 1

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Abstract

Objective: The study aimed to investigate the mental health and emotional reaction of physicians working during phase 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Methods: A total of 458 Italian Health Care Workers (HCWs) working during phases 1 of the COVID-19 outbreak were voluntarily enlisted in the study and recruited with the snowball technique through an online survey. We examined our variables with the General Health Questionnaire – 12 and with Visual Analog Scales. Results: The sample has a high level of psychological distress 21.26 (SD = 4.46), the emotional reaction was characterized by high level of fear for family members and cohabitants (M = 77.67, SD = 27.16) and patients (M = 67.16, SD = 27.71). Perceived control, fear for patients, and for family members and cohabitants, feeling alone and anger all contribute to a decreased mental health in Italian physicians (R2 = 0.285, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Italian HCWs’ mental health and emotional reaction have to be considered to prevent high risk of burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It becomes pivotal in the next months to implement a tailored psychological intervention to take care of HCWs and to prevent costly consequences for them, patients, and the healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number588762
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • distress
  • emotional reaction
  • health care workers
  • health care workers wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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