The ongoing pandemic scenario, due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has had a considerable impact on public health all over the world. Italy was one of the most affected countries, as the first European full-blown outbreak occurred there. The exposure of the Italian health care workers to COVID-19 may be an important risk factor for psychological distress. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe worries and risk perception of being infected among Italian Health Care Workers (HCWs) during the first wave of the pandemic. In total, 2078 HCWs participated in a web survey (78.8% were females). The highest percentage of respondents were physicians (40.75%) and nurses (32.15%), followed by medical (18.00%), health care support (4.50%) and administrative (4.60%) staff. In a score range between 0 (not worried) and 4 (very worried), our results showed that participants declared that they were worried about the Coronavirus infection with a median score of 3 (IQR 2-3) and for 59.19% the risk perception of being infected was very high. In addition, HCWs reported they suffered from sleep disturbances (63.43%). From the analysis of the psychological aspect, a possible divergence emerged between the perceived need for psychological support (83.85%) and the relative lack of this service among health care providers emerged (9.38%). Our findings highlight the importance of psychological and psychiatric support services not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in other emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) scenarios. These services may be useful for health authorities and policymakers to ensure the psychological well-being of health care professionals and to promote precautionary behaviors among them.

Risk Perception and Worries among Health Care Workers in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from an Italian Survey

Puci, Mariangela Valentina;Nosari, Guido;Puci, Giulia Virginia;Montomoli, Cristina;Ferraro, Ottavia Eleonora
2020

Abstract

The ongoing pandemic scenario, due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has had a considerable impact on public health all over the world. Italy was one of the most affected countries, as the first European full-blown outbreak occurred there. The exposure of the Italian health care workers to COVID-19 may be an important risk factor for psychological distress. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to describe worries and risk perception of being infected among Italian Health Care Workers (HCWs) during the first wave of the pandemic. In total, 2078 HCWs participated in a web survey (78.8% were females). The highest percentage of respondents were physicians (40.75%) and nurses (32.15%), followed by medical (18.00%), health care support (4.50%) and administrative (4.60%) staff. In a score range between 0 (not worried) and 4 (very worried), our results showed that participants declared that they were worried about the Coronavirus infection with a median score of 3 (IQR 2-3) and for 59.19% the risk perception of being infected was very high. In addition, HCWs reported they suffered from sleep disturbances (63.43%). From the analysis of the psychological aspect, a possible divergence emerged between the perceived need for psychological support (83.85%) and the relative lack of this service among health care providers emerged (9.38%). Our findings highlight the importance of psychological and psychiatric support services not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in other emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) scenarios. These services may be useful for health authorities and policymakers to ensure the psychological well-being of health care professionals and to promote precautionary behaviors among them.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1381374
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