Psychological effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in health professionals: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2021 Jan 10;104:110062. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110062. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Abstract

Background: Psychological suffering by health professionals may be associated with the uncertainty of a safe workplace. Front-line professionals exposed and involved in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients are more susceptible.

Method: This review was conducted based on papers that were published at MEDLINE, BMJ, PsycINFO, and LILACS, the according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes (PRISMA).

Results: Health professionals had a higher level of anxiety (13.0 vs. 8.5%, p < 0.01, OR = 1.6152; 95%CI 1.3283 to 1.9641; p < 0.0001) and depression 12.2 vs. 9.5%; p = 0.04; OR = 1.3246; 95%CI 1.0930 to 1.6053; p = 0.0042), besides somatizations and insomnia compared to professionals from other areas.

Conclusion: Health professionals, regardless of their age, showed significant levels of mental disorders. We observed a prevalence of anxiety and depression. Insomnia was a risk factor for both.

Keywords: COVID-19; Mental health; Psychological suffering.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • Prevalence
  • Stress, Psychological