‘Burnout’ and stress in health professionals

in News · 05-06-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

A study developed by researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto (FMUP) concluded that, during the “fight” against the Covid-19 pandemic, more than half of the health professionals showed signs of ‘burnout’, stress and anxiety.

In a statement, FMUP said that the study, also developed by researchers from CINTESIS and the Higher School of Education of the Polytechnic of Porto (ESE.P.Porto), showed that 52 percent of health professionals say they are experiencing “‘burnout’ because of the work they do”.
“The professionals who are on the front line of the fight are the most affected, showing significantly higher signs not only of ‘burnout’, but also of stress and anxiety”, says FMUP, adding that these are “preliminary results”.
The study, entitled “Impact of Covid-19: the role of resilience in depression, anxiety and burnout in health professionals”, also concludes, based on an online questionnaire, that 51 percent of health professionals are “in physical or psychological exhaustion” and that 35 percent “have even high levels of exhaustion”.
Cited in the statement, Inove Duarte and Carla Serrão, researchers from FMUP and ESE.P.Porto, respectively, claim that the results show that Covid-19 “resulted in exacerbation of mental health problems, with a particular emotional impact on health professionals in the front line”.
According to the researchers, the exposure of professionals to “unprecedented demands”, such as high mortality, rationing of personal protective equipment, pressure, fear of contagion and ethical dilemmas, are some of the reasons pointed out for this exhaustion of health professionals.
However, despite physical and psychological exhaustion, about 80 percent of professionals “consider themselves capable of facing difficult and potentially stressful situations”.
The questionnaire, conducted between 9 and 18 May, was completed by 1,500 health professionals, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, nutritionists, psychologists, pharmacists and diagnostic technicians.
Of the 1,500 respondents, 28 percent worked directly with people infected with the new coronavirus, 23 percent have been tested for infection and 75 percent consider having the personal protective equipment necessary to perform their duties.
According to FMUP, the group of researchers will now look at the characteristics that may interfere with the “differences recorded in terms of the mental health of professionals who are on the front lines against Covid-19” and those who are not directly involved.


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