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European Neuropsychopharmacology ; 53:S369-S370, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1598597


Background: Italy was strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during spring (first wave) and autumn 2020 (second wave);healthcare workers’ mental health was deeply conditioned by this situation and by the exposition to the highest risk to get infected themselves [1]. Aim of this study was to investigate how healthcare workers’ mental wellbeing was altered by the massive exposition to the pandemic, together with pre-existing personal factors which can be involved in mental health. Methods: Sixty-four healthcare workers from Fondazione IRCSS Policlinico, Milan, were included. Information were retrieved from an ad-hoc questionnaire. Mental health was assessed by the following rating scales: Impact of event scale-revised (IESR) and Patient Health Questionnaires-9 (PHQ-9). The first scale evaluates the post-traumatic stress symptoms, while the second severity of depression. The healthcare professionals were asked to fill the scales thinking about their symptoms during both the first and the second wave. Descriptive analyses were performed. Rating scale scores between first and second wave were compared by paired sample t-tests. In addition, second wave rating scale scores were compared between groups defined by qualitative variables through analyses of variance. Correlations were used to analyze the relation between quantitative variables and second wave rating scale scores. Two final multivariable linear logistic regression models were finally performed with the two rating scale scores in the second wave as dependent variables and statistically significant variables in the univariate analyses as independent ones. Results: Total sample included 25 males and 39 females. 53,2% of workers directly took care of COVID19-infected patients.34% and 18% of the total sample manifested respectively in the first and second wave over the threshold scores for significant Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms as showed by IESR. In addition, 23,2% and 13% of the total sample manifested respectively in the first and second wave over the threshold scores for significant depressive symptoms as showed by PHQ-9. During the second wave the professionals showed less PTSD (t = 5,536, p<0,001) and depressive symptoms (t=-5,559, p < 0.001) compared to the first one. Regression models showed that: (1) IESR scores were significantly associated with type of ward (COVID emergency or not) (β=0.24, p=0,03);(2) PHQ9 scores were significantly associated with male gender (β=0.32, p=0.01) and IESR scores (β=0.62, p<0,001). Conclusions: despite most of available literature is focused on the negative effect of COVID-19 on patients’ mental health [2,3], also healthcare professionals suffered from the psychological consequences of the pandemic. The difference in the scores between the first and the second wave suggests the fact that health workers passed from an acute mental involvement to a chronic accommodation to a stressing situation. Given the large number of workers fighting worldwide against COVID19 pandemics, the presence of mental illness among them can reach huge proportions. Female workers globally showed lower scores at the PHQ9 scales, suggesting the necessity of further investigations on the association between gender and capacity to manage environmental stressors. No conflict of interest