57.8% Of Healthcare Professionals Suffered Mental Disorders
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A study on healthcare professionals reveals that, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 57.8% of them suffered from mental disorders such as anxiety, acute stress and depression. The results indicate that the moral courage shown by healthcare professionals to face the first wave was one of the factors that increased the risk of suffering from mental illness.

The study was carried out on a sample of 149 health professionals: doctors, nurses, psychologists, assistant nursing care technicians, hospital porters, and administrative, security or kitchen staff. It compares the results between 90 Spanish professionals, belonging to the Castellón Health Department, and 59 professionals from the Psychiatric Hospital of Campeche, in Mexico.

The research shows that 57.8% of the Spanish healthcare professionals in the first wave presented anxiety, depression or acute stress, while only 39% of their Mexican counterparts suffered from one of these disorders, who were still at the beginning of the pandemic. "We have been surprised that this psychopathology is not related so much to occupational exposure to the COVID-19 virus, but is mainly due to the exposure of friends and family to this virus" says the researcher.

Among the referred mental illnesses, Spanish professionals have suffered mainly from Anxiety Disorder, in 43.7%; followed by Acute Stress Disorder, in 32.6%; and, to a lesser extent, Major Depressive Disorder, in 21.3% of the cases. Another factor that has influenced the appearance of these disorders is the "purpose in life", which is defined as the perception that a person has about the goal and value of their life.

A high purpose in life behaves as a protective factor against anxiety, depression and acute stress. In the same way, a low purpose can favor the appearance of these disorders". Researchers emphasize the relevance of these results at a time when Spain is facing a "fifth wave", with its healthcare professionals physically and mentally exhausted.

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