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A new SISSA study analyses the psychological support to health workers during COVID-19

28 April 2020
The Italian experience of medical doctors, nurses and mental health professionals

COVID-19 outbreak in Italy imposed an overwhelming workload as well as emotional burdens on healthcare professionals fighting the epidemic. Psychological and physical stress due to the working and health conditions may also be increased by social isolation and distancing. As a result, they could feel hostile or frustrated, experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, physical complaints and insomnia. In Italy, various listening and psychological support numbers or other teleconsultation services have been activated in addition to the professionals’ health routines within the hospitals.

In order to assess the efficacy of these actions, SISSA is launching a new research project, named PsycMed19. It will analyse the need for psychological support reported by the health care professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, the type and frequency of the psychological interventions offered to them through the different channels, and the devices and means supporting such psychological interventions. The final goal will be to identify the best practices implemented and to develop a protocol that allows intervening more effectively in the event of a future health emergency.

The project includes the distribution of three short anonymous online questionnaires (see below) with questions related to the experience during the emergency. Two questionnaires are addressed to medical doctors and health operators. The third one is dedicated to mental health professionals such as psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists serving hospitals as well as mental health organizations.

The project is led by Raffaella I. Rumiati, professor of cognitive neuroscience at SISSA, in collaboration with Dr. Annalisa Di Benedetto, Dr. Maria Rita Infurna and Elisabetta Pisanu, PhD student at SISSA.

For taking part in the survey please follow the links below:

PsycMed19 – Questionnaire for medical doctors (in Italian)

PsycMed19 – Questionnaire for health operators (in Italian)

PsycMed19 – Questionnaire for mental health professionals (in Italian)



(Image by Tumisu from Pixabay)