Health Care Workers Fear For Their Rising Mental Anguish


From Science Mag: “Studies of past outbreaks reveal a toll on health care workers. During the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic of 2003, 89% of 271 health care workers in Hong Kong reported negative psychological effects, including exhaustion and fear of social contact. And for up to 2 years after the epidemic dwindled, health care workers in Toronto, another city hit hard by SARS, had significantly higher than normal levels of burnout, psychological distress, and post-traumatic stress.

…Another survey of 1257 health care workers in 34 hospitals across China found that by the early days of February, 72% had experienced symptoms of distress. And about half had symptoms of depression and anxiety, researchers reported last month in JAMA Open Network. More than one-third had insomnia. The main reason for distress at the start of the outbreak was the lack of personal protection equipment, says Shaohua Hu, a psychiatrist at the First Affiliated Hospital of the Zhejiang University School of Medicine who conducted the study.”