The pandemic is affecting the mental health of front-line professionals

The pandemic is affecting the mental health of front-line professionals

Despite the time spent dealing with COVID-19 patients, more than two-thirds (69%) of professionals said they did not feel ready to deal with the pandemic. The vast majority, 87%, said they felt fearful and 67% anxious. Other emotions present are fatigue (58%) and sadness (50%).


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Agência Brasil – A year after the coronavirus pandemic spread, health workers are feeling the impacts on mental health, according to research by Getulio Vargas’ Foundation’s Center for Bureaucracy Studies (FGV). The study surveyed 1,829 professionals from various fields across the country, and 80% said they had a mental health problem over the past year. Doctors, nurses, community health agents, and physiotherapists, among others, participated in the study.

This is the fourth phase of the research, which began in April 2020, which has been tracking health professionals’ perceptions. “What the research showed was that their condition worsened emotionally and in their health. Because they were at work for a year, without stopping, without vacation or rest, at the same time that their financial conditions did not improve,” says one of the study’s authors, the FGV researcher, Gabriella Lotta.

Gabriella explains that the sample was not randomly collected, which does not allow us to say that the sample exactly represents the health professionals’ status in the country. “But it gives a good picture of the situation for professionals in Brazil,” he explains.

Despite the time spent dealing with COVID-19 patients, more than two-thirds (69%) of professionals said they did not feel ready to deal with the pandemic. The vast majority, 87%, said they felt fearful and 67% anxious. Other emotions were fatigue (58%) and sadness (50%).

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Only 19% said they had some form of mental health support. “They are suffering and have not received any support to deal with this suffering,” Lotta said.

For the researcher, the data shows that there has been little progress in dealing with the disease. “We have hardly improved our specialist preparation, equipment distribution, and training. We are putting our professionals at risk of death, “he says.

Of those surveyed, 31% said they already had COVID-19 and 86% had been vaccinated against the disease.

The Agência Brasil report contacted the Ministry of Health, but received no response regarding the survey results.

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