Healthcare Workers and Their Mental Health
In the healthcare industry, assisting in mental health of healthcare workers is a crucial part of improving patient care. Research shows that mental health issues are among the most common problems faced by HCWs, with stress, burnout, depression, substance abuse, and suicidality being reported most frequently. However, there are ways to assist in mental health of healthcare workers, including using social-contact-based interventions and interventions adapted for use in infectious disease outbreaks.
Stress is the most commonly reported feeling
Stress and anxiety are the most common feelings among healthcare workers. While the reasons for this are not clear, the results of a recent survey demonstrate that frontline health care workers are stretched too thin.
A study of more than 26,000 US and Canadian healthcare workers showed high rates of anxiety, depression and burnout. In addition, over half of respondents reported feeling emotionally exhausted in the last three months.
The “Coping with COVID” survey assessed the impact of the pandemic on the mental and physical well-being of healthcare workers. It included surveys on anxiety/depression, workload, coping skills, and social support.
The survey was conducted by Berxi, a division of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. The results of the survey reveal that health care employees are facing higher levels of stress than other occupations. In fact, the survey found that nurses and physicians are among the most stressed, compared to other professions.
COVID-19 causes burnout, depression, substance abuse, and suicidality
A recent study shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a wide range of mental health problems in both patients and healthcare workers. The results are mixed, but it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to depression, burnout, substance abuse, and suicidality.
The study examined a total of 38 studies with data on health service use, health care exposure, and COVID-19. The majority of these studies were either limited in design or did not include a control group. This may have led to inaccurate COVID-19 prevalence estimates.
The most common feelings reported were stress, exhaustion, anxiety, and frustration. In addition, many respondents reported feeling overwhelmed or hopeless. In some studies, burnout was found to predict suicidal ideation.
The overall rate of suicidal ideation in those who had experienced COVID-19 increased with severity of the illness. The risk of death also increased with severity of the disorder. The highest rates of suicides occurred among physicians.
Moral injury is a growing concern
Moral injury, or MI, is a form of stress. It is a strong emotional reaction that is experienced when a person must act in a way that conflicts with their deeply held values. In some cases, it can lead to lasting physical and behavioral harm.
Health care workers may experience moral injury due to a variety of factors, including workplace behaviors, socio-economic factors, and belief systems. They may be called to work in high-stress situations, such as during a pandemic, combat deployment, or humanitarian crisis. They may also face pressure to provide care to patients who are in need of emergency medical treatment.
It can be difficult for a healthcare worker to discuss moral injury. They may be hesitant to seek help, or may not feel the time is right.
Interventions implemented during infectious disease outbreaks to deal with mental health issues of HCWs
A systematic review was carried out on the effectiveness of interventions implemented during infectious disease outbreaks to deal with mental health issues of healthcare workers (HCWs). The interventions were classified into four categories: informational support, psychological and emotional support, organizational support, and training. These interventions were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale.
The study reported that the best mental health outcomes were achieved through initiatives that encouraged positive aspects of work and addressing mental health problems. This approach also protected the health of HCWs. However, the quality of research was uneven. There were differences in the number of included articles, the measures used to assess mental health, and the settings of the studies. These results can help to inform future workplace intervention programs.
Social-contact-based intervention using a three-minute video
The digital video intervention is a relatively new form of mental health education. It’s an interactive multimedia experience that includes videos, animations, and other forms of interactive media. It may improve help-seeking efficacy, mental health literacy, and the understanding of mental illness.
This is a review of studies evaluating the digital video intervention as a mental health education tool. Most of the studies were conducted in high-income countries, and all included a wide range of participants from young adults to senior citizens. The resulting studies varied in both the type of digital video used and its duration. A number of the studies involved co-creation. In fact, one study involved university students creating a digital video intervention that was later tested on their peers.