What mental health experts in Slovakia are learning from COVID-19 pandemic?

Indian J Psychiatry. 2020 Sep;62(Suppl 3):S459-S466. doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_758_20. Epub 2020 Sep 28.


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Slovakia on 6th March 2020. To date of paper submission, it has very favorable course. However, since the beginning healthcare workers have been working under increasing pressure, anxiety and fear.

AIM: Authors evaluated the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health experts and their clinical practice in Slovakia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 157 mental health experts (79% women) submitted their responses via online questionnaire.

RESULTS: The most frequent occupation categories were 38.2% outpatient psychiatrists, 26.1% inpatient psychiatrists and 20.4% psychologists. The mental health experts felt maximum of stress during the peak of Slovak COVID-19 crisis, which was identified as the situation just after the declaring the state of emergency by Slovak government. The main sources of stress were statistical data, prognoses and other public presented information. Mental health experts felt mainly personal stress, then general and working stress. They identified also pathological effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the mental status of their patients, especially with anxiety and affective disorders and advantages of use of telemedicine.

CONCLUSION: Psychosocial support in Slovakia was newly organized in COVID-19 pandemic for medical professionals, patients and other inhabitants under high stress within a very short time. This unexpected situation has revealed to Slovakia the need for reform of the mental healthcare system.

PMID:33227044 | PMC:PMC7659775 | DOI:10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_758_20