The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of healthcare workers in Greece

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected significantly the well-being and the mental health of healthcare workers across the world. Factors such as increased workload, fear of infection, lack of protective equipment, isolation and uncertainty concern- ing the development of the pandemic contribute to increasing psychological pressure on healthcare workers as well as to increased risk for the development of mental disorders such as depression, burnout and traumatic stress. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of healthcare workers in Greece as well as the risk for development of mental disorders, through a systematic review of relevant research studies. The articles for this study were selected and retrieved through the international databases Pub Med and Google Scholar. The search was performed for articles from the beginning of the pandemic (January 2020) until March 2021, in the English and Greek language using the key words Greece, COVID-19, mental health, the exact phrase health care workers and the words burden OR anxiety OR burnout. According to the selection criteria, the articles should include research studies or meta-analyses on the investigation of healthcare workers’ mental health exclusively in Greece, using validated psychometric data collection tools. The selection process resulted in 6 articles while relevant meta-analyses were not identified. The psychometric scales used in the selected articles aimed to the evaluation of mental disorder symptoms such as depression, perceived stress, burnout and insomnia. According to these studies the health care workers in Greece present moderate/severe symptoms of burnout, moderate/low sense of accomplishment, moderate/severe symptoms of depression, as well as significantly increased levels of perceived stress, depersonalization and insomnia. Moreover, 5 of the 6 articles identified increased risk for traumatic stress disorder, while 2 of the 6 studies evaluated that this risk is significantly higher for healthcare workers comparing to the general population. Prognostic factors for increased mental disorder risk, such as negative feelings, sense of threat and emotional exhaustion, were identified while family support was positively correlated to resilience. No coping strategies were identified as exclusively adaptive or maladaptive. Despite the limited number of selected articles, their results are generally in the same line with the relevant international literature. According to the articles, the decline of health care workers’mental health is evident while the need for further research concerning coping strategies to avoid traumatic stress, which appears specifically threatening, is also emphasized.

Category: Volume 61, Issue 3
Hits: 10420 Hits
Created Date: 27-10-2022
Authors: Maria Skoulatou , Ourania Govina , Anna Kavga-Paltoglou