Occurrence, prevention, and management of the psychological effects of emerging virus outbreaks on healthcare workers: rapid review and meta-analysis

Review of 59 papers found that staff in contact with affected patients had greater levels of psychological distress. Risk factors included young age, and being parents of dependent children. Clear communication, adequate PPE and rest were associated with reduced morbidity.

SPS commentary:

A related editorial discusses the benefits of implementing psychological first aid for the acute management of psychological distress.  It also highlights however that there needs to be a thought for those with a history of psychiatric and substance use disorders who, not surprisingly, are predisposed to have worsening mental health during a pandemic.  It concludes that long ignored, untreated, or undertreated depression plus covid-19 can be a deadly combination. Healthcare providers should not make the mistake of minimising these presentations as only crisis induced. They should screen, triage, and refer healthcare workers to the appropriate level and type of services before it is too late.


British Medical Journal

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