The mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a narrative review

Johannes H. De Kock, Helen Ann Latham, Richard G. Cowden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose of reviewMental health (MH) problems among healthcare workers (HCWs) have the potential to impact negatively on the capacity of health systems to respond effectively to COVID-19. A thorough understanding of the factors that degrade or promote the MH of HCWs is needed to design and implement suitable intervention strategies to support the wellbeing of this population.Recent findingsMH problems among HCWs were elevated prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accumulating evidence indicates that this public health crisis has had a disproportionately negative impact on the MH of specialised populations, including HCWs. Literature from prior health pandemics suggests that the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the MH of HCWs are likely to persist in the aftermath of the public health crisis. Primary and secondary risk factors for adverse MH outcomes have been identified and should be considered when implementing interventions to protect the MH of HCWs.SummaryThe MH of HCWs has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a detrimental influence on the public health response to COVID-19. Protecting the MH of HCWs both during and beyond this public health crisis should remain a top priority, with particular emphasis on multifaceted interventions that aim to balance the psychological needs of individual HCWs with organisational-level strategies that could be targeted to promote their wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Healthcare
  • Mental health
  • Psychology
  • Workers

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