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Eur J Psychotraumatol ; 12(1): 1968141, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475710


The no-visitor policies endorsed by healthcare organizations to limit COVID-19 virus risk exposure have unfortunately contributed to the isolation of patients further exacerbating distress in relatives and frontline healthcare workers. To contrast such effects, many healthcare institutions have adopted technology-based solutions helping patients and families communicate online through the aid of virtual devices. To date, no study has investigated whether facilitating patient-family videocalls would mitigate distress levels in frontline healthcare professionals. Caring for emotional needs of patients by re-establishing affiliative connections interrupted by the pandemic through patient-family videocalls is expected to mitigate distress in engaged healthcare workers as an example of a tend-and-befriend response to stress caused by the pandemic. We tested this hypothesis in a cross-sectional study conducted during 1-30 June 2020, involving 209 healthcare workers (nurses = 146; physicians = 63) engaged in the COVID-19 frontline in Italy. Half of participants in our sample (n = 107) had assisted efforts aimed at connecting patients remotely with families through videocalls. Psychological distress measures included symptoms of burnout, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and difficulty in sleep and wakefulness. Partially in line with our expectations we found a modulation effect specific for professional category: nurses assisting patient-family videocalls reported significantly lower levels of distress and a better quality of wakefulness compared to those who did not, whereas physicians reported higher levels of distress during such virtual communications. We interpret these findings from the perspective of patient-family communication and differences in skills and training between nurses and physicians. These findings highlight that technology-based solutions aimed at reducing barriers and alleviating distress in healthcare settings should be promoted in concert with skill enhancement training for healthcare professionals especially in terms of communicating online and communicating difficult topics with patients and families.

La política de no recibir visitas que ha sido legitimada por organizaciones de atención de salud para limitar el riesgo de la exposición al virus COVID-19 ha contribuido en forma desafortunada al aislamiento de los pacientes, lo que aumenta el malestar/angustia en familiares y en trabajadores de salud de la primera línea. Para contrastar tales efectos, muchas instituciones de salud han adoptado soluciones basadas en la tecnología para ayudar a pacientes y familiares a comunicarse en línea a través de la ayuda de dispositivos virtuales. Hasta la fecha, ningún estudio ha investigado si es que la facilitación de video llamadas paciente-familiares pudiese mitigar el nivel de angustia en profesionales de salud de primera línea. Se espera que el cuidado de las necesidades emocionales de los pacientes mediante el restablecimiento de conexiones afilativas interrumpidas por la pandemia a través de video llamadas entre el paciente y la familia ayude a mitigar la angustia en los trabajadores de la salud como un ejemplo de una respuesta de "cuidar y hacer amigos" a la angustia causada por la pandemia. Probamos esta hipótesis en un estudio transversal realizado entre el 01 y el 30 de junio del 2020, en la que participaron 209 trabajadores de la salud (enfermeras=146; médicos=63) involucrados en la atención de la primera línea del COVID-19 en Italia. La mitad de los participantes en nuestra muestra (n=107) habían asistido a esfuerzos destinados a conectar a los pacientes en forma remota con sus familias a través de video-llamadas. Las medidas de angustia psicológica incluyeron síntomas de burnout, estrés postraumático, ansiedad, depresión, dificultad para dormir y estar despiertos. Parcialmente en línea con nuestras expectativas, encontramos un efecto modulador específico para la categoría profesional: Las enfermeras que asistían las video llamadas de los pacientes con sus familias reportaron significativamente menor nivel de angustia y una mejor calidad de vigilia en comparación con las que no lo hicieron, mientras los médicos reportaron mayores niveles de angustia durante tales comunicaciones virtuales. Interpretamos estos hallazgos desde la perspectiva de la comunicación paciente-familia y las diferencias en las habilidades y formación entre las enfermeras y los médicos. Estos hallazgos destacan que las soluciones basadas en la tecnología destinadas a reducir las barreras y aliviar la angustia en los entornos de atención de salud deben promoverse junto con la capacitación para la mejora de habilidades para profesionales de la salud especialmente en términos de comunicarse en línea y comunicar temáticas difíciles a pacientes y familiares.

COVID-19/therapy , Family/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Inpatients/psychology , Psychological Distress , Videoconferencing/instrumentation , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Quarantine , Technology
Applied Cognitive Psychology ; : 1, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1411750


Associations between facial appearance and hiring decisions are well‐documented within job literature as a source of decision misjudgment with economic and human costs. Notwithstanding, this aspect is yet to be investigated in healthcare. We collected 90 pictures of new‐graduates nurses faces to be judged on different facial appearance‐based traits by an independent sample. Six months after graduation, the same new‐graduates were interviewed about their job situation. Binomial logistic regression was conducted to examine whether facial appearance ratings would predict the probability to be hired as nurse. Results showed that applicants with a face conveying a feeling of familiarity were more likely to be hired. Considering that people might be inclined to these biases during societal crises and the exceptional need to quickly recruit health professionals during COVID‐19 pandemic, our study recommends special attention to prevent the influence of facial appearance‐based evaluations not reflecting real skills to limit potentially adverse consequences. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Applied Cognitive Psychology is the property of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Psychol Trauma ; 12(S1): S171-S173, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-594837


The physical and social isolation measures associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, although certainly necessary to contain the spread of the virus, represent a particularly distressing aspect that might accentuate the fears and pain associated with the disease, especially for patients, their family members, and health-care professionals. Affiliative responses to the crises are emerging as ad hoc or formally endorsed practices within COVID-19 facilities in Italy, aimed at establishing links of communication between patients and family members by using new communication technologies. Tending to the emotional needs of patients and mending the affiliative connections interrupted by the disease are good examples of interdisciplinary cohesion and affiliative responses to the COVID-19 emergency. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Interpersonal Relations , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Psychological Trauma/psychology , Social Identification , Social Isolation , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Italy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Psychological Trauma/etiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology