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1.
Front Psychiatry ; 13: 867080, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903179

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Italy is one of the high-income countries hit hardest by Covid-19. During the first months of the pandemic, Italian healthcare workers were praised by media and the public for their efforts to face the emergency, although with limited knowledge and resources. However, healthcare workers soon had to face new challenges at a time when the national health system was working hard to recover. This study focuses on this difficult period to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of Italian healthcare workers. Materials and Methods: Healthcare workers from all Italian regions [n = 5,502] completed an online questionnaire during the reopening phase after the first wave lockdown. We assessed a set of individual-level factors (e.g., stigma and violence against HCWs) and a set of workplace-level factors (e.g., trust in the workplace capacity to handle COVID-19) that were especially relevant in this context. The primary outcomes assessed were score ≥15 on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and score ≥4 on the General Health Questionnaire-12, indicators of clinically significant depressive symptoms and psychological distress, respectively. Logistic regression analyses were performed on depressive symptoms and psychological distress for each individual- and workplace-level factor adjusting for gender, age, and profession. Results: Clinically significant depressive symptoms were observed in 7.5% and psychological distress in 37.9% of HCWs. 30.5% of healthcare workers reported having felt stigmatized or discriminated, while 5.7% reported having experienced violence. Feeling stigmatized or discriminated and experiencing violence due to being a healthcare worker were strongly associated with clinically significant depressive symptoms [OR 2.98, 95%CI 2.36-3.77 and OR 4.72 95%CI 3.41-6.54] and psychological distress [OR 2.30, 95%CI 2.01-2.64 and OR 2.85 95%CI 2.16-3.75]. Numerous workplace-level factors, e.g., trust in the workplace capacity to handle COVID-19 [OR 2.43, 95%CI 1.92-3.07] and close contact with a co-worker who died of COVID-19 [OR 2.05, 95%CI 1.56-2.70] were also associated with clinically significant depressive symptoms. Similar results were found for psychological distress. Conclusions: Our study emphasizes the need to address discrimination and violence against healthcare professionals and improve healthcare work environments to strengthen the national health system's capacity to manage future emergencies.

2.
J Clin Med ; 11(9)2022 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1818160

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 forced healthcare workers to work in unprecedented and critical circumstances, exacerbating already-problematic and stressful working conditions. The "Healthcare workers' wellbeing (Benessere Operatori)" project aimed at identifying psychological and personal factors, influencing individuals' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: 291 healthcare workers took part in the project by answering an online questionnaire twice (after the first wave of COVID-19 and during the second wave) and completing questions on socio-demographic and work-related information, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and the Brief Cope. RESULTS: Higher levels of worry, worse working conditions, a previous history of psychiatric illness, being a nurse, older age, and avoidant and emotion-focused coping strategies seem to be risk factors for healthcare workers' mental health. High levels of perceived social support, the attendance of emergency training, and problem-focused coping strategies play a protective role. CONCLUSIONS: An innovative, and more flexible, data mining statistical approach (i.e., a regression trees approach for repeated measures data) allowed us to identify risk factors and derive classification rules that could be helpful to implement targeted interventions for healthcare workers.

3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736902

ABSTRACT

Despite the widespread prevalence of mental health problems, most psychological distress remains untreated. Internet-based psychological interventions can be an essential tool for increasing treatment availability and accessibility. The main objective of the MindBlooming project is to design and implement an innovative Internet-based multi-approach treatment for university students suffering from psychological or physical problems. The intervention will focus on symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, self-destructive thoughts, job- and study-related stress and burnout, and chronic pain. It will be based on different approaches, primarily psychoeducation, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment (CBT), and third-wave CBT. At the end of the treatment, user satisfaction and usability will be assessed. In addition, two further aims will be evaluating the treatment efficacy through a randomized controlled trial and tuning a predictive model through Machine Learning techniques. The intervention consists of a 7-week treatment on two problematic areas according to each students' personal needs, identified through an initial assessment. Besides the treatment assigned following the initial screening, participants will also be assigned to a different module to improve their relational skills. The treatment, which can be accessed through a mobile app, consists of psychoeducational videos followed by related exercises. We expect MindBlooming to be a remarkable tool for promoting the mental health of university students.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , Internet-Based Intervention , Anxiety/therapy , Anxiety Disorders , Humans , Internet , Students/psychology , Universities
4.
Acta Psychol (Amst) ; 224: 103529, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1670097

ABSTRACT

The first Italian lockdown during COVID-19 pandemic constituted an example of strong situation. Under this context, we investigated associations of HEXACO personality with COVID-19 mitigation behaviors (self-reported hygiene, distancing, going out). We tested unique associations through regularized regressions and out-of-sample prediction after establishing the best level of analysis (HEXACO traits, facets, items). Personality always explained out-of-sample variance over and above demographics, COVID-related knowledge, concern, impacts, and goals. Hygiene and distancing were best predicted by HEXACO traits, whereas facets constituted the best level for the prediction of going out. In general, honesty-humility (trait or facets) was the clearest predictor of safer behaviors. Results corroborate the relevance of personality even in strong situations, as well as its importance for COVID-19 mitigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Personality , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome ; 24(1):42-52, 2021.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1451685

ABSTRACT

The onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacted individuals' psychological wellbeing resulting in heightened perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. However, a significant issue in accessing psychological care during a lockdown is the lack of access to in-person interventions. In this regard, research has shown the efficacy and utility of psychological app-based interventions. 'Italia Ti Ascolto' (ITA) has been developed as a population tailored internet-based intervention to offer an online professional solution for psychological support needs. The ITA app is available on iOS and Android systems. Users completed a baseline assessment on emotion regulation strategies (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression), psychological stress, anxiety, depression, and perceived social support. Participants could select among several one-hour long clinical groups held by expert psychotherapists. After every session, people were asked to complete a quick users' satisfaction survey. Our contribution presents ITA's intervention protocol and discusses preliminary data on psychological variables collected at baseline. Data showed significant associations between emotion regulation strategies, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and level of stress. Moreover, the role of perceived social support is considered. Future developments and implications for clinical practice and treatment are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

6.
Psychiatry Res ; 305: 114206, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428340

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic involved several psychosocial consequences. We aimed at monitoring the mental health of Italian adults during the lockdown imposed by the government. We present here results from the baseline assessment of the "EmotionalThermometer [TermometroEmotivo] project on a sample of 1548 Italian adults. We assessed the socio-demographic conditions of participants, individuals' perception of the COVID-19-situation, psychological distress, emotion regulation strategies, and perceived social support. Having a worse representation of COVID-19 and consulting news more frequently, with higher anxiety and less credibility of different sources of information, were positively associated with psychological distress and post-traumatic responses. Being female, younger age, living in high-risk regions, having symptoms of COVID-19, and having relatives/friends with such symptoms represented risk factors for a worse perception of COVID-19 and distress. Social support and cognitive reappraisal represented protective factors for mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Front Psychol ; 12: 635406, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268288

ABSTRACT

This work investigates the relationship between goals and mitigation behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Study 1 (pilot) identified goals ascribed to following and violating mitigation-related indications. Study 2 investigated the structure of and link between COVID-related goals and behaviors in a large community sample (N = 995, 301 men). Our results showed substantial relationships between goals and behaviors. Goals were best described by a bi-dimensional structure (being safe vs. being free), whereas behaviors clustered into a three-component structure (hygiene, distancing, going out). Hierarchical multiple regressions demonstrated the incremental validity of goals in the prediction of behaviors. Network analysis suggested that goals imbued with social content were more directly related to both risky and preventive behaviors. Motivational aspects emerged as important contributors to the organization of behaviors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(10)2021 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234712

ABSTRACT

During the last year, the COVID-19 outbreak put all the healthcare workers around the world at risk of physical and psychological sequelae. The general purpose of the present study was to assess the mental health of Italian healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak and to identify high-risk groups. Here, we present results from the baseline assessment of the "Healthcare workers' wellbeing (Benessere Operatori)" project on a sample of 1055 healthcare workers. Participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Healthcare workers who worked in COVID wards reported higher levels of anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress, anger, and burnout, compared to those reported by the healthcare workers who worked in non-COVID wards. Moreover, nurses, both in COVID and non-COVID wards, were at higher risk of experiencing psychological distress compared to other groups of healthcare workers. These findings highlight the importance of implementing targeted psychological interventions for healthcare workers operating in COVID wards and nurses, who seem to be the most vulnerable categories.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety , Depression , Health Personnel , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Res Psychother ; 24(1): 517, 2021 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197587

ABSTRACT

The onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic impacted individuals' psychological wellbeing resulting in heightened perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. However, a significant issue in accessing psychological care during a lockdown is the lack of access to in-person interventions. In this regard, research has shown the efficacy and utility of psychological app-based interventions. 'Italia Ti Ascolto' (ITA) has been developed as a population tailored internet-based intervention to offer an online professional solution for psychological support needs. The ITA app is available on iOS and Android systems. Users completed a baseline assessment on emotion regulation strategies (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression), psychological stress, anxiety, depression, and perceived social support. Participants could select among several one-hour long clinical groups held by expert psychotherapists. After every session, people were asked to complete a quick users' satisfaction survey. Our contribution presents ITA's intervention protocol and discusses preliminary data on psychological variables collected at baseline. Data showed significant associations between emotion regulation strategies, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and level of stress. Moreover, the role of perceived social support is considered. Future developments and implications for clinical practice and treatment are discussed.

10.
Curr Psychiatry Rep ; 22(12): 80, 2020 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064604

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We report evidence on the negative psychological effects of pandemics in people with personality disorders (PDs) and on the role of personality pathology in compliance with mitigation-related behaviors. Considering the paucity of studies, after a description of the main features of PDs, on the basis of the current literature on pandemic and quarantine mental health impact, we trace some clinical hypotheses. RECENT FINDINGS: Paranoid traits and detachment (cluster A) might lead to worse psychological outcomes. Cluster B patients may show more intense stress-related reactions and react strongly to social distancing, especially considering borderline personality disorder. Cluster C patients might be particularly prone to anxiety and stress due to fear of contagion and may be less flexible in adaptation to new routines. Evidence on compliance with mitigation measures is mixed, with lower compliance in cluster B patients and higher in cluster C ones. We suggest that PD patients might be particularly affected by pandemics. Furthermore, they might react differently, according to their main diagnosis. Similarly, compliance with mitigation measures may differ according to specific PDs. Our results should be considered as a starting point to reflect on therapeutic strategies to be adopted in the post-COVID-19 situation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Personality Disorders , Pneumonia, Viral , Anxiety , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Curr Psychiatry Rep ; 22(8): 43, 2020 07 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-640028

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We aim to provide quantitative evidence on the psychological impact of epidemic/pandemic outbreaks (i.e., SARS, MERS, COVID-19, ebola, and influenza A) on healthcare workers (HCWs). RECENT FINDINGS: Forty-four studies are included in this review. Between 11 and 73.4% of HCWs, mainly including physicians, nurses, and auxiliary staff, reported post-traumatic stress symptoms during outbreaks, with symptoms lasting after 1-3 years in 10-40%. Depressive symptoms are reported in 27.5-50.7%, insomnia symptoms in 34-36.1%, and severe anxiety symptoms in 45%. General psychiatric symptoms during outbreaks have a range comprised between 17.3 and 75.3%; high levels of stress related to working are reported in 18.1 to 80.1%. Several individual and work-related features can be considered risk or protective factors, such as personality characteristics, the level of exposure to affected patients, and organizational support. Empirical evidence underlines the need to address the detrimental effects of epidemic/pandemic outbreaks on HCWs' mental health. Recommendations should include the assessment and promotion of coping strategies and resilience, special attention to frontline HCWs, provision of adequate protective supplies, and organization of online support services.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/psychology , Depression/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Psychological Distress , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/psychology , Anxiety/etiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Depression/etiology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/etiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology
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