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Mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
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  • Marialaura Di Tella,
  • Annunziata Romeo,
  • Agata Benfante,
  • Lorys Castelli
Marialaura Di Tella
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Annunziata Romeo
University of Turin
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Agata Benfante
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Lorys Castelli
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Peer review status:Published

06 May 2020Submitted to Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
06 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
06 May 2020Assigned to Editor
11 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
25 Jun 20201st Revision Received
26 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
26 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
28 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Accept
25 Jul 2020Published in Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 10.1111/jep.13444

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the most stressful events of recent times. Among the population, healthcare professionals who treat COVID-19 patients are most likely to develop psychological distress and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). The present study thus aimed to investigate the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Italian healthcare workers. Methods: The responses of 145 healthcare workers (72 medical doctors and 73 nurses) were included in the final dataset. Participants were asked to provide sociodemographic and clinical information, and to complete: 1) quality of life and health-related Visual Analogue Scales, 2) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Form Y1, 3) Beck Depression Inventory, and 4) PTSD Checklist for DSM-5. Results: A comparison between healthcare professionals working in COVID-19 wards and other units revealed that the former reported higher levels of both depressive symptoms and PTSS. Moreover, the results of regression analyses showed that in healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients, gender and marital status, and gender and age significantly predicted depressive symptoms and PTSS, respectively. Particularly, being female and not in a relationship were found to be associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, whereas being female and older were found to be related to higher levels of PTSS. Conclusions: The current findings suggest that specific predisposing factors could identify healthcare workers who are at high risk of developing mental health symptoms when faced with COVID-19 patients.