Mental Health Outcomes and Coping Strategies Among Health Care Workers Exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Background: The recent pandemic condition developed from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, have a profound effect on almost all the aspects of society. This outbreak has greatly compromised both the mental and physical health of the frontline healthcare workers and supporting hospital staff since they are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of infected individuals with COVID-19. This study aimed to investigate the psychological impacts and factors causing stress among the healthcare workers & supporting hospital staff during the COVID-19 outbreak and also to identify the preferred coping strategies.
Methodology: This cross-sectional survey-based study was conducted from 1st to 30th February 2020. The sample comprised of frontline healthcare workers & hospital staff providing supporting services like laboratory personnel & administrative workers. The data was collected using a structured self-administered online questionnaire focusing on the impacts of COVID-19, factors causing stress and the coping strategies used by frontline medical workers to deal with the psychological impacts of such pandemics.
Results: A total of 127 frontline medical workers completed the survey. The findings from the present study suggested that frontline healthcare workers & hospital staff experience both psychological as well as emotional impacts due to COVID-19. The mean Impact of Event Scale (IES) score was 24.44±19.41 indicating partial PTSD or at least a few symptoms of PTSD. The major factor causing stress among these health workers was their fear of inflicting COVID-19 on family (33.1%). Among the coping strategies, emotion-focused coping techniques and positive thinking were found to be the most preferred strategies among the frontline medical workers and hospital staff in coping stress associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Conclusion: The current study emphasizes the significance of the psychological impacts of COVID-19 among healthcare workers and the importance of psychiatric help for these long-term traumatic influences.
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