Risk Of Mental Health Problems Among Covid-19 Health Care Pr
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A new study, suggests more than half of doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in COVID-19 care could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia. Researchers found that the risk of these mental health conditions was comparable to rates observed during natural disasters.

The researchers surveyed 571 health care workers, including 473 emergency responders and 98 hospital staff. Overall, 56% of the respondents screened positive for at least one mental health disorder. The prevalence for each specific disorder ranged from 15% to 30% of the respondents, with problematic alcohol use, insomnia, and depression topping the list.

The scientists found that health care workers who were exposed to the virus because they were immunocompromised had a significantly increased risk of acute traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression. The researchers suggest that identifying these individuals and offering them alternative roles could reduce anxiety, fear, and the sense of helplessness associated with becoming infected.

"They saw the need and they were in there fighting and working hard," researcher says. Health care professionals had heard about cases elsewhere before COVID-19 was detected in their communities, their anxiety levels likely rose in anticipation of having to confront the disease.

Among the study's limitations are its small sample size. It was also conducted early in the pandemic in a region that wasn't as affected by the disease as other areas with higher infection and death rates. Moving forward, the researchers are in the final stages of a similar but larger study conducted in late 2020 that they hope will build on these findings.

Source:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022395620310669?via=ihub
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