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Beyond the physical risk: Psychosocial impact and coping in healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic

Fteropoulli, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-7509-9880, Kalavana, T., Yiallourou, A. , Karaiskakis, M., Koliou Mazeri, M., Vryonides, S., Hadjioannou, A. & Nikolopoulos, G. (2021). Beyond the physical risk: Psychosocial impact and coping in healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, doi: 10.1111/jocn.15938


Aims and objectives
This study aimed to examine the psychosocial impact and identify risk factors for poor psychosocial outcomes in healthcare professionals during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Cyprus.

Healthcare professionals are in the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic facing an unprecedented global health crisis, which can have consequences on their psychosocial health. There is a need to identify risk factors for poor psychosocial outcomes to inform the design of tailored psychological interventions.

Cross-sectional online study.

A total of 1071 healthcare professionals completed self-report questionnaires. Measures included sociodemographic information, COVID-19-related characteristics, quality of life (Brief World Health Organization Quality of Life; WHOQOL-Bref), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7; GAD-7), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-8; PHQ-8), occupational burnout (Copenhagen Burnout Inventory; CBI), and coping (Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced; Brief COPE). This article follows the STROBE reporting guidelines.

The prevalence of moderate to severe anxiety and clinically significant depression was 27.6% and 26.8%, respectively. Significant risk factors for poor psychological outcomes included being female, being a nurse or doctor (vs non-medical professional), working in frontline units (inpatient, intensive care), perceptions of inadequate workplace preparation to deal with the pandemic, and using avoidance coping. Depression and occupational burnout were significant risk factors for poor quality of life.

The findings suggest several individual, psychosocial, and organisational risk factors for the adverse psychological outcomes observed in healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Relevance to clinical practice
This study highlights the urgent need for screening for anxiety and depression and psychological interventions to combat an imminent mental health crisis in healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic response protocols and public health initiatives aiming to improve and prevent mental health problems in healthcare professionals during the current and future health crises, need to account for the various factors at play.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2021 The Authors. Journal of Clinical Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19, healthcare professionals, quality of life, anxiety, depression, occupational burnout, coping, SARS-CoV-2, Pandemic, mental health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
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