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Disease perception and coping with emotional distress during COVID-19 pandemic
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  • Milena Man ,
  • Claudia Toma ,
  • Nicoleta Motoc,
  • Viana Necrelescu,
  • Cosmina Bondor,
  • Ana Chis ,
  • Andrei Lesan,
  • Carmen Pop,
  • Doina Todea,
  • Elena Dantes ,
  • Ruxandra Puiu,
  • Ruxandra Rajnoveanu
Milena Man
Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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Claudia Toma
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Nicoleta Motoc
Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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Viana Necrelescu
Pneumology Hospital Leon Daniello Cluj-Napoca
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Cosmina Bondor
Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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Ana Chis
Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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Andrei Lesan
Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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Carmen Pop
Iuliu Hagieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Faculty of Medicine
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Doina Todea
Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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Elena Dantes
Ovidius University of Constanta
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Ruxandra Puiu
Pneumology Hospital Leon Daniello Cluj-Napoca
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Ruxandra Rajnoveanu
Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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Abstract

Background: The novel coronavirus disease, COVID 19, is a highly contagious infectious disease declared by the World Health Organization pandemic and a global public health emergency. During outbreaks, health care workers are submitted to enormous emotional burden as they must balance the fundamental “duty to treat” with the parallel duty to family and loved ones. The aims of our study is to evaluate disease perceptions, levels of stress, emotional distress, and coping strategies among medical staff (COVID 19 versus non-COVID 19 department) in tertiary pulmonology teaching hospital in the first month after the outbreak of COVID 19. Methods: One hundred fifteen health care workers completed four validated questionnaires (the brief illness perception questionnaire, perceived stress scale, the profile of emotional distress emotional, cognitive coping evaluation questionnaire) that were afterward interpreted by one psychologist. Results: There was a high level of stress and psychological distress among health care workers in the first month after the pandemic outbreak. Interestingly, there was no difference between persons that work on COVID 19 department versus those working in non-COVID 19 department. Disease perceptions and coping mechanism were similar in the two groups. As coping mechanism, refocusing on planning and positive reappraisal were used more than in general population. Conclusions: there is no difference in disease perceptions, levels of stress, emotional distress, and coping strategies in medical staff handling COVID 19 patients versus personal that does not handle COVID patients the first month after the pandemic outbreak