Occupational stress and mental health among anesthetists during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nicola Magnavita, Paolo Maurizio Soave, Walter Ricciardi, Massimo Antonelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anesthetist-intensivists who treat patients with coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) are exposed to significant biological and psychosocial risks. Our study investigated the occupational and health conditions of anesthesiologists in a COVID-19 hub hospital in Latium, Italy. Ninety out of a total of 155 eligible workers (59%; male 48%) participated in the cross-sectional survey. Occupational stress was assessed with the Effort Reward Imbalance (ERI) questionnaire, organizational justice with the Colquitt Scale, insomnia with the Sleep Condition Indicator (SCI), and mental health with the Goldberg Anxiety and Depression Scale (GADS). A considerable percentage of workers (71.1%) reported high work-related stress, with an imbalance between high effort and low rewards. The level of perceived organizational justice was modest. Physical activity and meditation—the behaviors most commonly adopted to increase resilience—decreased. Workers also reported insomnia (36.7%), anxiety (27.8%), and depression (51.1%). The effort made for work was significantly correlated with the presence of depressive symptoms (r = 0.396). Anesthetists need to be in good health in order to ensure optimal care for COVID-19 patients. Their state of health can be improved by providing an increase in individual resources with interventions for better work organization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8245
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emergency
  • Healthcare workers
  • Infectious disease
  • Insomnia
  • Logistic regression
  • Organizational justice
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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