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2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321023

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in governments implementing disease containment measures such as school closures, social distancing, and home quarantine.To date, only a few studies have drawn attention to the psychological impact of lockdown on Italian children’s mental health. The present study aimed to investigate the psychological distress (anxiety and mood symptoms) and changes in routine among Italian primary and middle school students during the COVID-19 quarantine. Methods: : This qualitative interview study was performed between the 18th of May and 7th of June 2020: it involved a sample of 82 children and adolescents living in Milan (Italy), attending primary and middle school (aged 6 to 14 years), and their parents. Results: Almost 30% of the subjects reported having struggled to adjust to home learning. 36 responders completely changed their dietary habits during the lockdown: they were not eating the same amount of food and were consuming more junk food. Sleep habits were also affected by the lockdown measures: 28% of the sample had difficulties sleeping and wished to sleep in their parents’ bed. Concerning psychological distress, 64 (78%) children and adolescents had anxiety symptoms;43.9% of the students reported significant mood symptoms. Conclusions: Children are not indifferent to the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 epidemic: our data confirm their difficulties in adapting to the quarantine measures. The effects of stress exposure may not manifest later on during the children’s development, and, for this reason, it would be interesting to follow up on these participants to improve our understanding of how long these outcomes may last.

3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(11)2021 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259491

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic had a massive impact on the Italian healthcare systems, which became overwhelmed, leading to an increased risk of psychological pressure on ICU workers. The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of distress (anxiety, depression and insomnia symptoms), burnout syndrome and resilience in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to detect potential factors associated with their psychological response. This cross-sectional, survey-based study enrolled 136 healthcare workers assisting COVID-19 patients in the new COVID-19 ward (Intensive Care Unit), at Milano Fiera, Lombardy. Participants completed an online survey that comprised different validated and standardized questionnaires: Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Resilience Scale for adults (RSA), Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). Socio-demographic and work characteristics were also collected. Out of 136 ICU specialists, there were 84 nurses (62%) and 52 physicians (38%). Over half (60%) met the criteria for burnout, with nearly the same percentages among nurses and physicians. Nurses reported significantly higher scores of anxiety and insomnia levels. Forty-five percent of participants reported symptoms of depression (of whom 13.9% in the clinical range) and most of the staff showed moderate to high levels (82.4%) of resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on ICU staff. Effective interventions are needed to maintain healthcare professionals' mental health and relieve burnout. Follow-up and tailored procedures should be provided to alleviate the psychological burden in the frontline staff at highest risk.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Adult , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1035, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255921

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: School closure created difficulties for parents, who were asked to care for their children and help them with schooling, while working at home. We aimed to explore the experiences in organising school for children at home and its implications on children's psychological well-being and educational progress during the quarantine for the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A nationwide online survey of mothers of primary and middle school students was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Demographic data and information on distance learning organisation and children's attitudes and behavioural changes were collected. RESULTS: 2149 mothers completed the survey, with a final sample of 1601 subjects. Large differences between primary and middle school emerged: lessons were less organised and routines were more instable for the youngest, who could not pay attention for more than 20 min (28.3%) and needed breaks every 10 min (21.6%), with lower quality of learning (40.6%), increased restlessness (69.1%), and aggressiveness (33.3%). A large use of screens was reported, with an abuse in screen time in 2%. Two thirds of mothers did not approve of distance learning (72.2%) because of their role in replacing teachers (77.8%), the effort required (66%), and the great commitment required (78.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Distance learning increased educational deprivation and social inequalities, especially for the youngest children, who lost almost one year of school. The situation was even worse for children with disabilities, who were neglected by the institutions. This period should be considered as an opportunity to correct the weaknesses of our school system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Distance , Child , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 51-59, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068124

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: the Covid-19 pandemic has provoked a huge of clinical and epidemiological research initiatives, especially in the most involved countries. However, this very large effort was characterized by several methodological weaknesses, both in the field of discovering effective treatments (with too many small and uncontrolled trials) and in the field of identifying preventable risks and prognostic factors (with too few large, representative and well-designed cohorts or case-control studies). OBJECTIVES: in response to the fragmented and uncoordinated research production on Covid-19, the   italian Association of Epidemiology (AIE) stimulated the formation of a working group (WG) with the aims of identifying the most important gaps in knowledge and to propose a structured research agenda of clinical and epidemiological studies considered at high priority on Covid-19, including recommendations on the preferable methodology. METHODS: the WG was composed by 25 subjects, mainly epidemiologists, statisticians, and other experts in specific fields, who have voluntarily agreed to the proposal. The agreement on a list of main research questions and on the structure of the specific documents to be produced were defined through few meetings and cycles of document exchanges. RESULTS: twelve main research questions on Covid-19 were identified, covering aetiology, prognosis, interventions, follow-up and impact on general and specific populations (children, pregnant women). For each of them, a two-page form was developed, structured in: background, main topics, methods (with recommendations on preferred study design and warnings for bias prevention) and an essential bibliography. CONCLUSIONS: this research agenda represents an initial contribution to direct clinical and epidemiological research efforts on high priority topics with a focus on methodological aspects. Further development and refinements of this agenda by Public Health Authorities are encouraged.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Pandemics , Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Epidemiology/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Prognosis , Societies, Scientific , Therapeutic Equipoise
7.
BMC Psychiatry ; 21(1): 20, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015847

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Quarantine as a preventive action to reduce people's exposure to a contagious disease has substantial psychological impact. We aimed to collect information on psychologically distressing experiences of Italians living in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: From 6 to 20 April 2020 participants filled out an online questionnaire. Demographic and physical symptoms data from the prior 14 days of quarantine were collected. Psychological impact of quarantine was assessed by the COVID-19 Peritraumatic Distress Index (CPDI). RESULTS: In all, 20,158 participants completed the online survey. Of these, 11,910 (59.1%) were from Lombardy, the region with 37.7% of positive cases identified during the survey period. 30.1% of responders were male. About half (55.9%) of responders were 18-50 years old, 54.3% had a tertiary level of education, 69.5% were workers, 84.1% were living in houses with ≥3 rooms, and 13.7% were living alone. 9.7% had had contact with COVID-19 positive people. Of all responders, 9978 (48.6%) reported a psychological impact, 8897 (43.4%) of whom reported mild or moderate and 1081 (5.2%) severe psychological impact. The multivariate analysis, after adjustments, showed that an increasing CPDI score was associated with gender (female), first-second educational level, being unemployed, living in a ≤2 room house, having had new health problems during the previous 14 days, and not having been out of the house in the previous week. Concerning the type of psychological distress, 2003 responders (9.9%) reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms, 1131 (5.5%) moderate to severe anxiety symptoms, and 802 (3.9%) moderate to severe physical symptoms. A positive correlation was found between responder rate (per 10.000 residents) and positive COVID-19 cases (per 10.000 residents) by region (rs = + 0.83, p = < 0.0001), and between responder rate and region latitude (rs = + 0.91, p = < 0.0001), with a greater response rate in the north. Considering Lombardy Region responders, a negative correlation between CPDI score and distance from place of residence to the red zone (Nembro-Alzano) was found. Higher prevalence of psychological distress was found up to 25 km away from the red zone and, in particular, severe distress up to 15 km. CONCLUSIONS: Policy makers and mental health professionals should be aware of quarantine's adverse mental health consequences. Factors influencing the success of quarantine and infection control practices for both disease containment and community recovery should be identified and additional support to vulnerable persons at increased risk of adverse psychological and social consequences of quarantine should be guaranteed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety , Depression , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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