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Frontiers in psychiatry ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1728114


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a still-unfolding series of novel, potentially traumatic moral and ethical challenges that place many healthcare workers at risk of developing moral injury. Moral injury is a type of psychological response that may arise when one transgresses or witnesses another transgress deeply held moral values, or when one feels that an individual or institution that has a duty to provide care has failed to do so. Despite knowledge of this widespread exposure, to date, empirical data are scarce as to how to prevent and, where necessary, treat COVID-19-related moral injury in healthcare workers. Given the relation between moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we point here to social and interpersonal factors as critical moderators of PTSD symptomology and consider how this knowledge may translate to interventions for COVID-19-related moral injury. Specifically, we first review alterations in social cognitive functioning observed among individuals with PTSD that may give rise to interpersonal difficulties. Drawing on Nietlisbach and Maercker's 2009 work on interpersonal factors relevant to survivors of trauma with PTSD, we then review the role of perceived social support, social acknowledgment and social exclusion in relation to potential areas of targeted intervention for COVID-19-related moral injury in healthcare workers. Finally, building on existing literature (e.g., Phoenix Australia—Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and the Canadian Centre of Excellence—PTSD, 2020) we conclude with individual and organizational considerations to bolster against the development of moral injury in healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 279(1): 515-520, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219011


PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to estimate the 1 year prevalence and recovery rate of self-reported chemosensory dysfunction in a series of subjects with previous mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID-19. METHODS: Prospective study based on the SNOT-22, item "sense of smell or taste" and additional outcomes. RESULTS: 268/315 patients (85.1%) completing the survey at baseline also completed the follow-up interview. The 12 months prevalence of self-reported COVID-19 associated chemosensory dysfunction was 21.3% (95% CI 16.5-26.7%). Of the 187 patients who complained of COVID-19 associated chemosensory dysfunction at baseline, 130 (69.5%; 95% CI 62.4-76.0%) reported complete resolution of smell or taste impairment, 41 (21.9%) reported a decrease in the severity, and 16 (8.6%) reported the symptom was unchanged or worse 1 year after onset. The risk of persistence was higher for patients reporting a baseline SNOT-22 score ≥ 4 (OR = 3.32; 95% CI 1.32-8.36) as well as for those requiring ≥ 22 days for a negative swab (OR = 2.18; 95% CI 1.12-4.27). CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of patients with previous mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID-19 characterized by new onset of chemosensory dysfunction still complained on altered sense of smell or taste 1 year after the onset.

COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Smell , Taste , Taste Disorders/diagnosis , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/etiology
Chem Senses ; 462021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080838


This study prospectively assessed the 6-month prevalence of self-reported and psychophysically measured olfactory dysfunction in subjects with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Self-reported smell or taste impairment was prospectively evaluated by SNOT-22 at diagnosis, 4-week, 8-week, and 6-month. At 6 months from the diagnosis, psychophysical evaluation of olfactory function was also performed using the 34-item culturally adapted University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (CA-UPSIT). 145 completed both the 6-month subjective and psychophysical olfactory evaluation. According to CA-UPSIT, 87 subjects (60.0%) exhibited some smell dysfunction, with 10 patients being anosmic (6.9%) and seven being severely microsmic (4.8%). At the time CA-UPSIT was administered, a weak correlation was observed between the self-reported alteration of the sense of smell or taste and olfactory test scores (Spearman's r = -0.26). Among 112 patients who self-reported normal sense of smell at last follow-up, CA-UPSIT revealed normal smell in 46 (41.1%), mild microsmia in 46 (41.1%), moderate microsmia in 11 (9.8%), severe microsmia in 3 (2.3%), and anosmia in 6 (5.4%) patients; however, of those patients self-reporting normal smell but who were found to have hypofunction on testing, 62 out of 66 had a self-reported reduction in sense of smell or taste at an earlier time point. Despite most patients report a subjectively normal sense of smell, we observed a high percentage of persistent smell dysfunction at 6 months from the diagnosis of syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, with 11.7% of patients being anosmic or severely microsmic. These data highlight a significant long-term rate of smell alteration in patients with previous SARS-COV-2 infection.

COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Olfaction Disorders/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Psychophysics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Self Report , Smell , Taste