Psychological Distress and Work Environment Perception by Physical Therapists from Southern Italy during COVID-19 Pandemic: The C.A.L.A.B.R.I.A Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Sep 14;18(18):9676. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18189676.


The psychosocial impact of the work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic on health professionals is a growing issue. The present study examined specific psychosocial work environment indicators during the COVID-19 pandemic, through a multiple regression model of a self-administered cross-sectional online survey in a cohort of physical therapists from a region of Southern Italy from March 2020 to May 2021. The questionnaire contained items on work and healthcare issues related to COVID-19. Eighty physical therapists (29 male and 51 female), mean age 32.5 ± 10.1 years, were involved in this survey. The multiple regression analysis showed that "management activity" was significantly correlated to "therapist frustration" during the COVID-19 pandemic (ΔR2 = 0.16; p < 0.03). Findings of this study underline the importance of a healthy psychosocial work environment to enhance job satisfaction of all health professionals and to avoid role conflict and burnout syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; burnout; depression; healthcare; healthcare workers; physical therapy; psychology; rehabilitation; work environment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Perception
  • Physical Therapists*
  • Psychological Distress*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult