Psychological impact of COVID-19 outbreak on frontline nurses: A cross-sectional survey study

This article was originally published here

J Clin Nurs. 2020 Aug 12. doi: 10.1111/jocn.15454. Online ahead of print.


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to portray the prevalence and associated factors of psychological distress among frontline nurses during COVID-19 outbreak.

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak has posed great threat to public health worldwide. Nurses fighting against the epidemic on the frontline might be under great physical and psychological distress. This psychological distress was predominantly described as sleep disturbance, symptoms of anxiety and depression, posttraumatic stress, inability to make decisions and even somatic symptoms.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

METHODS: Frontline nurses from designated hospitals for COVID-19 patients were invited to complete an online survey by convenience sampling, the survey included six main sections: the General Health Questionnaire, the Perceived Social Support Scale, the Simplified Coping Style Scale, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, socio-demographic, occupation and work history. Multiple logistic analysis was used to identify the potential risk factors of psychological distress. The study methods were compliant with the STROBE checklist.

RESULTS: Of the 263 frontline nurses, 66 (25.1%) were identified as psychological distress. Multiple logistic analysis revealed that working in emergency department, concern for family, being treated differently, negative coping style and COVID-19 related stress symptom were positive related to psychological distress. Perceived more social support and effective precautionary measures were negatively associated with psychological distress.

CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that COVID-19 had a significant psychological impact on frontline nurses. Early detection of psychological distress and supportive intervention should be taken according to the associated factors to prevent more serious psychological impact on frontline nurses.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study highlighted that the frontline nurses were suffering from varying degrees of psychological distress, which needed early screening and supportive intervention for preventing more serious psychological impact on frontline nurses. Beside, more specific measurement should be combined with the GHQ-12 to assess the varying degrees of psychological distress in frontline nurses.

PMID:32786150 | DOI:10.1111/jocn.15454