Mental Wellness, News

COVID-19 Takes Heavy Psychological Toll on Health Care Workers

Frontline Healthcare Workers Exposed To COVID-19 May Be At Greater Risk Of Developing Unfavorable Mental Health Outcomes, Study Indicates

MD Magazine reports, “Frontline healthcare workers, women, and nurses exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at a greater risk of developing unfavorable mental health outcomes,” research indicates. Investigators in China “used data from >1200 healthcare workers to assess the magnitude of mental health outcomes and associated factors among those treating patients who were exposed to the virus in” that country. Researchers “found that among the Chinese workers exposed to COVID-19, women, nurses, those in Wuhan, and frontline healthcare workers had a greater risk of worsening mental health outcomes than average,” which suggests that “such individuals may need psychological support or interventions.” The findings were published online March 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Psychiatric News (3/23) quotes the author of an accompanying commentary, who wrote, “These findings, consistent with those observed in the 2003 severe acute respiratory system (SARS) epidemic, may help to guide strategies for responding to mental health sequelae of this and future epidemics.” He added the study “provides a reminder of the toll that will likely linger” after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, that is, “the consequences of chronic stress, including major depression and anxiety disorders.”

PDFs of the articles are here: MD Magazine, Psychiatric News and its commentary.