The global mental health burden of COVID-19 on critical care staff

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Br J Nurs. 2021 Jun 10;30(11):634-642. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2021.30.11.634.


BACKGROUND: Although the mental health burden in healthcare workers caused by COVID-19 has gained increasing attention both within the profession and through public opinion, there has been a lack of data describing their experience; specifically, the mental wellbeing of healthcare workers in the intensive care unit (ICU), including those redeployed.

AIMS: The authors aimed to compare the mental health status of ICU healthcare workers (physicians, nurses and allied health professionals) affected by various factors during the COVID-19 pandemic; and highlight to policymakers areas of staff vulnerabilities in order to improve wellbeing strategies within healthcare systems.

METHODS: An online survey using three validated scales was conducted in France, the UK, Italy, Mainland China, Taiwan, Egypt and Belgium.

FINDINGS: The proportion of respondents who screened positive on the three scales across the countries was 16-49% for depression, 60-86% for insomnia and 17-35% for post-traumatic stress disorder. The authors also identified an increase in the scores with longer time spent in personal protective equipment, female gender, advancing age and redeployed status.

CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of mental disorders among ICU staff during the COVID-19 crisis should inform local and national wellbeing policies.

PMID:34109816 | DOI:10.12968/bjon.2021.30.11.634