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International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances 2 (2020) 100003
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Occupational psychosocial risks of health professionals in the face
of the crisis produced by the COVID-19: From the identification of
these risks to immediate action
1. Introduction
In December 2019, numerous cases of unknown pneumonia began to be reported in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province (China),
which were not easily explained by the health authorities ( Jiang et al., 2020a ). On 7 January, a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was
identified as the cause, and on 11 February, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally called the disease caused by this virus
COVID-19 (Disease induced by SARS-CoV-2). A few days earlier, on 30 January 2020, the WHO announced that the coronavirus
epidemic was a public health emergency of international concern ( Jiang et al., 2020b ), and on 11 March, the outbreak was declared
a global pandemic. By the end of March 2020, 693,224 positive cases and 33,106 deaths had been detected worldwide, of which
392,757 and 23,962, respectively, occurred in the European region. Italy and Spain are at the top of the list, and France and the
United Kingdom are beginning to rapidly increase reported cases ( WHO, 2020b ). In the United States, detected cases are already of
concern ( WHO, 2020b ).
The clinical presentation of COVID-19 syndrome involves fever, cough, fatigue, dyspnea, headache and sore throat, abdominal
pain and diarrhea. Some patients develop a severe set of symptoms and progress to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, having to
be admitted to the intensive care units (ICU), with the need to be assisted with mechanical ventilation ( Jiang et al., 2020 ). As it has a
high pandemic potential, the virus has the capacity to be rapidly transmitted between humans, and within Europe in countries such
as Spain and Italy, a large number of health professionals have been infected. To avoid this, it is recommended that professionals
use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) according to the level of risk of the task to be performed with these patients
( Jiang et al., 2020 ). However, as this is a global problem, governments are having serious problems in acquiring this equipment in
the market and providing these materials to healthcare professionals. This situation has been a real problem, because it contributes
to the collapse of the health system by having a large number of professionals on sick leave, in addition to limited available space
and beds within the ICUs ( del Rio and Malani, 2020 ; Saglietto et al., 2020 ).
This has led to a scenario where nurses and doctors are working under physical and psychological pressure unheard of in our
Western societies ( Chen et al., 2020 ; WHO, 2020a ). In a social context where it could be debated whether it is a priority at this time
to attend to the psychosocial aspects of these professionals in their workplaces ( Chen et al., 2020 ), the fact is that these workers
are exposed to the virus on a daily basis and are afraid of infecting themselves and/or their families or patients; face long working
hours, high mental workload, stress and emotional fatigue; are exposed to high doses of pain and emotional suffering; and are even
exposed to the stigma and physical and psychological violence of a society that is also afraid ( Duan and Zhu, 2020 ; Huang et al., 2020 ;
Jiang et al., 2020 ; WHO, 2020a ). But these are not the only elements of risk present. In this article, we examine the occupational
psychosocial risk factors that have emerged or have been accentuated during the COVID-19 crisis for the health professional; the
psychosocial risks to which he or she is exposed, with particular attention to various forms of stress that may be developing at this
time and their consequences; as well as the urgent protective measures that should be taken in psychosocial protection. We will end
with some considerations to be taken into account by the health authorities and agencies in order to ensure a future in which we
have health professionals recovered from this crisis, resilient and with optimal levels of work engagement to face the new challenges
that the future holds for us as a society.
Received 15 April 2020; Accepted 13 May 2020
Available online 16 May 2020
2666-142X/© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
( )
International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances 2 (2020) 100003
2. Emerging and/or accentuated occupational psychosocial risk factors during the health crisis produced by COVID-19
The psychosocial risk factors at work are “those aspects of work design and the organization and management of work, and
their social and environmental contexts, which have the potential for causing psychological, social or physical harm ”( Cox and Grif-
fiths, 1996 ). It is well known that health professionals in emergency departments and ICUs were already exposed to intense cognitive,
physical, social and emotional demands in their daily work, even before this pandemic ( Adriaenssens et al., 2015 ; Blanco-Donoso et al.,
2018 ; Wang et al., 2020 ). Just remember that according to the last European Working Conditions Survey ( Eurofound 2017 ), workers
in the health sector (e.g. nurses, physicians, etc.) were exposed to the highest levels of work intensity, which includes aspects related
to working at high speed and under time pressure, and experiencing high emotional demands ( Eurofound, 2019 ).
The situation produced by COVID-19 has only aggravated and multiplied the presence of these psychosocial risk factors in this
population ( Cai et al., 2020 ; Zheng et al., 2020 ). In addition to physical stress, the health professional is currently facing an enormous
mental burden ( Huang et al., 2020 ), as has already happened in other epidemics such as SARS or the Ebola crisis ( Lehmann et al.,
2015 ; Marjanovic et al., 2007 ). Professionals do not have all the human and technological resources desirable for safe patient care
( Chen et al., 2020 ; del Rio and Malani, 2020 ; Jiang et al., 2020 ). In many places in Spain, improvised spaces are being organized
to care for patients, without sufficient coordination, specialization, and health organization (State Confederation of Medical Unions,
2020). Professionals also have to attend to the psychological needs of patients and their isolated relatives, since the entry of other
specialized mental health personnel is limited by the period of quarantine ( Duan and Zhu, 2020 ). They are seeing patients die without
the presence of their families because of the conditions of isolation, and these professionals are the only ones who can humanize and
dignify this farewell. Therefore, they are exposed abruptly and in large doses to death, human suffering and loneliness. They are afraid
of becoming infected and of infecting patients and their loved ones ( Huang et al., 2020 ). Ultimately, they are also afraid of their own
death and that of their relatives ( Cai et al., 2020 ). Their levels of work overload and emotional demand are very high ( Cai et al.,
2020 ). Conflict and role ambiguity can also arise, especially among professionals who are being called upon to act in the field with
less experience and without the proper expertise. Many are also isolated and not being able to be in touch with the families. Time
pressure and rapid decision-making are multiplying, sometimes in the face of ethical dilemmas that would require complex solutions,
increasing the pressure for civil and criminal liability for irreversible acts and mistakes that may be committed ( Greenberg et al.,
2020 ).
3. Workplace stress, moral injury, burnout and other psychosocial risks present
Exposure to the aforementioned occupational risk factors will increase the likelihood that professionals dealing with the COVID-19
crisis will experience psychosocial situations and experiences that have a high potential to seriously affect their physical and mental
health. We are talking about the so-called psychosocial risks at work, for example, work stress, secondary traumatic stress, burnout,
work-family conflict, or violence at work. The first works being carried out in China, the epicenter of the crisis, seem to point in this
Probably the most explicit psychosocial risk at this time is job stress, a pattern of psychological, emotional, cognitive and be-
havioural reactions that the professional will experience when faced with extremely overwhelming and demanding aspects of the
content, organization and environment in which he/she is performing his/her work ( Houtman et al., 2007 ), and which is frequently
experienced when there is no control over these demands ( McGrath, 1970 ). Today, there is also concern about what is known as
moral distress and moral injury ( de Veer et al., 2013 ): psychological distress that results from actions (or lack of actions) that violate
one’s morals and ethical standards ( Litz et al., 2009 ). The way in which different health resources are triaged and distributed to
the population according to different criteria (e.g. the life expectancy of the patient) could lead these workers to experience moral
suffering ( Greenberg et al., 2020 ).
The acute stress of the professional in the face of this crisis can evolve in many cases into post-traumatic stress ( Cai et al.,
2020 ), as a result of repeated exposure to critical incidents and traumatic events in the workplace. In this sense, these professionals
will be exposed to what is known as secondary traumatic stress, a set of psychological symptoms that a professional acquires due
to exposure to people who have experienced a trauma ( Figley, 2002 ; Kelly, 2020 ; Wang et al., 2020 ). In other words, these are
reactions derived from the performance of a traumatic work task that can be enhanced when mixed with high degrees of empathy.
The symptoms suffered by the professional may be the same as those of the victims of the trauma, and include intrusive thoughts,
traumatic memories, nightmares, insomnia, irritability, emotional lability, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, avoidance of people
and places, hypervigilance and sadness.
Emotional exhaustion and burnout may also appear, probably the former before other dimensions of the construct such as de-
personalization/cynicism and lack of adjustment, responses that may come later, following one of the possible known evolutions of
this syndrome ( Leiter, 1993 ). The previously mentioned mismatch between demands and resources to cope with them could explain
this depletion, as well as other elements such as the lack of physical and psychological recovery of these workers ( de Wijn and van
der Doef, 2020 ). How will the high percentage of health workers who already had high levels of burnout before the pandemic be
experiencing this crisis? ( Adriaenssens et al., 2015 ; Cañadas-de la Fuente, 2015 ; Moss et al., 2016 ; Wang et al., 2020 ) The impact of
this crisis on them is likely to have been dire.
Finally, many workers who are working on the front lines are away from their families, and some cannot see their partners
and children because of long working hours or shifts that are difficult to reconcile with personal lives. Others have been placed
in a quarantine situation to avoid infecting their families. This situation can also increase the conflict between work and family
International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances 2 (2020) 100003
( Greenberg et al., 2020 ). Moreover, this situation not only affects individuals, but also work teams that are exhausted: the high-stress
situation can lead to interpersonal conflicts between colleagues.
4. Urgent psychosocial protection actions
The psychological impact that this crisis can have on the mental health of health professionals as a result of being exposed to
these risk factors can translate into greater problems of adaptation, insomnia, depression, anxiety and performance in the short,
medium and long terms. It may also have important consequences on the quality of care and in the desire to leave the profession
( Brooks et al., 2020 ; Huang et al., 2020 ; Lai et al., 2020 ; Zhu et al., 2020 ). Therefore, it would be necessary to implement urgent
psychosocial protection plans, which necessitates, first of all, recognizing the existence of this type of psychosocial risk in the field
and not reducing its importance ( Greenberg et al., 2020 ). The loss of health professionals due to this inadequate management can be
very serious for the optimal functioning of the health system.
In the face of this type of crisis, it is essential that the basic needs of professionals are covered and that rest spaces are offered
between shifts in comfortable spaces ( Unadkat and Farquhar, 2020 ; WHO, 2020a ). The incorporation of psychologists specializing
in crises and emergencies not only reduces the emotional demands that patients and families place on already overburdened health
professionals, but also allows the psychological needs of the staff to be met ( Chen et al., 2020 ; Duan and Zhu, 2020 ). Debriefing and
emotional ventilation can be an interesting resource at this time to implement in the unit, with the aim of expressing in a controlled
way the emotions and stories experienced. The support of colleagues and supervisors is fundamental, and the approaches to collective
coping are extremely interesting ( Rodríguez et al., 2019 ). Organizational and leadership support is also critical to support these
actions ( Brooks et al., 2020 ; Unadkat and Farquhar, 2020 ; WHO, 2020a ). Providing health professionals with the necessary technical
resources and support will increase their levels of self-efficacy and personal control (which is much needed in these circumstances),
and may reduce their stress levels as a result ( Cai et al., 2020 ). For example, it can be very useful for the professional to receive
sufficient preparation about how to deal with the ethical dilemmas that will be presented ( Greenberg et al., 2020 ). This will also
help professionals to be able to control and manage their own stress response, with the help of techniques such as diaphragmatic
breathing, maintaining basic nutritional and physical activity guidelines, controlling negative thoughts and rumination and allowing
them to be connected to their loved ones through social networks. The practitioner should be encouraged to develop active coping
with stress and the situation ( Cai et al., 2020 ; Huang et al., 2020 ). Likewise, promoting personal resources of resilience (hardiness,
optimism and emotional competence) is useful to foster psychological health and well-being of professionals, as well as more resilient
organizations ( Garrosa et al., 2011 ).
5. Ensuring a psychosocially healthy future for our healthcare providers
It has been twelve years since Leka et al. (2008) reflected in a study conducted with occupational health and safety experts in
Great Britain that being prepared for a pandemic was one of the top-priority and emerging areas in terms of occupational health
issues. However, it seems that this crisis has now exceeded our expectations and has caught us all off guard.
Psychosocial interventions should be extended beyond the acute period of the crisis, as traumatic stress and some emotional
problems are likely to have a high incidence in the future among our health professionals ( Duan and Zhu, 2020 ). We cannot make
the mistake that when the pandemic and health crisis situation ends, we do not engage in deep reflection on what has happened
and what it means to have a healthy health system –also in terms of human resources developing their activity under optimal
working conditions ( Unadkat and Farquhar, 2020 ). Spaces for reflection will be needed to learn from the experience, promoted by
the organizations and health directorates ( Greenberg et al., 2020 ). Occupational risk prevention services will play an important role
in the prevention of psychosocial risks in the workplace, and employee care programmes will be a relevant resource, if you are willing
and invest in it. Caring for the professional is an inseparable part of the humanization of healthcare in general and of the quality of
care provided ( Gálvez-Herrer et al., 2017 ). Otherwise, the loss of health professionals and their talent may be irreversible, as well as
the abandonment of the profession.
Thousands of citizens in Spain and elsewhere in the world go out to their balconies every day to applaud the health professionals
who are dealing with the health crisis generated by COVID-19. And recently, in an article published in the International Journal
of Nursing Studies, Santos et al. (2019) showed us how important the impact and perceived social value is for health professionals
when explaining their levels of burnout and engagement. Without a doubt, going out to applaud motivates professionals, but the
authorities and health institutions will have to take a step forward and carry out structural measures that will result in real change
in the working conditions of these professionals. Several recognised experts in occupational health are already warning that if we do
not make these changes, the number of professionals who are burned, and who leave the profession will increase ( Eurofound, 2019 ;
Maslach, 2017 ). They are exposed to risks on a daily basis, often out of their own moral duty. Our society must respond to them in
the same way, and this time we cannot fail them.
International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances 2 (2020) 100003
Declaration of Competing Interest
The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to
influence the work reported in this paper.
Luis Manuel Blanco-Donoso
Eva Garrosa
Jennifer Moreno-Jiménez
Macarena Gálvez-Herrer
Bernardo Moreno-Jiménez
Stress and Health Research Team, Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), Calle Ivan Pavlov, 6, Cantoblanco, Madrid 28049, Spain
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (L.M. Blanco-Donoso)
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... The daily exposure and the fear of infecting themselves and/or their families, the long working hours, and the high mental workload could affect service delivery and the mental and physical state of the healthcare workers. 11 In most countries, exposure to COVID-19 by frontline healthcare workers is legally recognized as an occupational injury. In Ghana, this was identified and salary supplement schemes were instituted to support the frontline healthcare workers in recognition of the risk they accepted, both to themselves and their family members while providing care to patients with COVID-19. ...
... Healthcare workers exposed to these psychological and social risk factors are likely to experience psychosocial situations and experiences that have a high potential to seriously affect their physical and mental health. 11 Cox and Griffiths, 12 defined psychosocial risk factors at work as "those aspects of work design and the organization and management of work, and their social and environmental contexts, which have the potential for causing psychological, social or physical harm." It is reported that healthcare workers experience higher rates of depression compared to the general population, especially in health emergencies 13 and this could affect how they carry out their duties in times of crisis. ...
Full-text available
Background and aims: The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched many healthcare systems, and it is having detrimental impacts on healthcare workers at the forefront, fighting to save lives. This study sought to assess the relationship between job factors and the perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 at the workplace among healthcare workers and how the relationships are augmented when sociodemographic characteristics are taken into consideration in a limited resource setting (Ghana). Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 455 respondents was conducted. Results: Overall, 5.93% of the respondents perceived low risk of contracting COVID-19 while 69.45% and 24.62% perceived medium and high risks of contracting COVID-19 at the workplace, respectively. The odds of a high perceived risk versus the combined medium and low perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 at the workplace was 0.461 times lower for healthcare workers who rated their workplace safety systems as good and 0.515 and 0.170 times lower for healthcare workers who indicated occasional and frequent work environment situational assessment (situational awareness), respectively. The odds of high perceived risk were 2.239 times higher for workers who are always emotionally fatigued and 1.829 times higher for healthcare workers who frequently contribute personally to workplace decision-making. The perceived risk of contracting COVID-19 at the workplace was also 1.780 times higher for healthcare workers with tertiary education. Conclusion: In terms of health and safety at work, this study recommends that there should be an improvement in implementing safety protocols at health facilities to increase the confidence of healthcare workers. Furthermore, social and psychological support and work environment situational assessment, which can reduce stress and anxiety levels among the healthcare workers, should be implemented if contributing factors such as working outside their area of expertise or job scope cannot be eliminated.
... Occupational psychosocial risks of health professionals in the face of the crisis produced by the COVID-19: From the identification of these risks to immediate action (16) 2020 Spain ...
... The situation produced by COVID-19 only aggravated and multiplied the intense cognitive, physical, social, and emotional demands experienced by health professionals in the hospital context before this pandemic (16) . The study published with 287 professionals of the ICU nursing team regarding human and material resources identified that 78.37% of the nursing team already stated that the number of professionals was inadequate, as well as other 58.16% considered the resources available in the unit as insufficient for care, and 74.47% of the participants were with a medium level of stress (42) . ...
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Objective: To analyze Brazilian and international scientific publications about the stress experienced by health professionals in the hospital context during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Integrative literature review carried out on the SciELO, ScienceDirect, and LILACS databases, and sources of official Brazilian institutions, with documents published by May 2020. Results: Of the 26 selected references, 19 (73.08%) were indexed articles, and 7 (26.92 %) were obtained from official institutions. The study found that stress is mainly due to the overload of hospital services, the removal of professionals, the insufficiency of personal protective equipment and strict biosecurity measures, challenges in the allocation of available resources, and the risk of contamination by COVID-19. Final considerations: The stress experienced by health professionals in hospital institutions during the pandemic can trigger occupational and psychological problems.
... Psychosocial risks can affect a worker's psychological and physical health through a stress-mediated pathway [38]. Communicable disease outbreaks exacerbate these risks [39,40]. In our study, the MATMs, especially in S1, showed more worries about their leisure time and work performance, which was hard to balance and brought a lot of anxiety and pressure. ...
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Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the association between the perceptions of psychophysical risks and sleep quality of Medical Assistance Team Members (MATMs) in Square Cabin Hospitals. Methods: Repeated cross-sectional data collection was conducted in Square Cabin Hospitals during two large-scale lockdowns. The first wave was sampled from MATMs dispatched to Wuhan and the second was from MATMs dispatched to Shanghai. Participants completed online questionnaires comprised of the Risk Perception Questionnaire (RPQ), Positive and negative emotions scale (PANAS), and Sleep Quality Scale (SQS), measuring the psychophysical risk perceptions about the MATMs’ current work, emotional states, and sleep quality. Changes across two waves of data collection were statistically parsed using the exploratory factor analysis and regression models. Results: Data of 220 participants from first-wave samples [S1] and 300 from second-wave samples [S2] were analyzed. Participants reported more worries about physical risks, such as inadequate protection methods and being infected, and S1 rated higher on all risks compared with S2 (as the biggest p-value was 0.021). Across the different situations, the dominant emotional states of MATMs were positive; a higher level of psychophysical risk perceptions, negative emotional states, and poor sleep quality were consistently interrelated. The psychophysical risk perceptions predicted sleep quality. Negative emotions as a state variable intensified the relationship between physical risk perceptions and sleep quality (bindirect effect = 1.084, bootstrapped CI = [0.705, 1.487]). Conclusions: The results provide important evidence that MATMs’ higher level of psychophysical risk perceptions associated with negative emotions could indicate worse sleep quality.
... The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with an increase in the psychosocial risks of healthcare work, implying significant emotional consequences for these professionals (Blanco-Donoso et al., 2020). In ICUs in particular, moral distress levels have risen (Sheather and Fidler, 2021), and various studies mention decisive aggravating factors in the units, such as rationing and triage due to the scarcity of resources e.g., lack of ventilatory support, duplication of ICU beds in departments other than the usual ICU, and a lack of sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), the need to prioritise COVID-19 patients over others, difficulty with team collaboration due to members affected by the disease, and patient and family solitude and isolation (Cacchione, 2020;Kanaris, 2021;Morley et al., 2020;Sheather and Fidler, 2021). ...
... The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with an increase in the psychosocial risks of healthcare work, implying significant emotional consequences for these professionals (Blanco-Donoso et al., 2020). In ICUs in particular, moral distress levels have risen (Sheather and Fidler, 2021), and various studies mention decisive aggravating factors in the units, such as rationing and triage due to the scarcity of resources e.g., lack of ventilatory support, duplication of ICU beds in departments other than the usual ICU, and a lack of sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), the need to prioritise COVID-19 patients over others, difficulty with team collaboration due to members affected by the disease, and patient and family solitude and isolation (Cacchione, 2020;Kanaris, 2021;Morley et al., 2020;Sheather and Fidler, 2021). ...
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Background From the beginning, the COVID-19 pandemic increased ICU workloads and created exceptionally difficult ethical dilemmas. ICU staff around the world have been subject to high levels of moral stress, potentially leading to mental health problems. There is only limited evidence on moral distress levels and coping styles among Spanish ICU staff, and how they influenced health professionals’ mental health during the pandemic. Objectives To assess moral distress, related mental health problems (anxiety and depression), and coping styles among ICU staff during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain. Design: Cross-sectional. Settings and participants: The study setting consisted of ICUs and areas converted into ICUs in public and private hospitals. A total of 434 permanent and temporary ICU staff (reassigned due to the pandemic from other departments to ICUs) answered an online questionnaire between March and June 2020. Methods Sociodemographic and job variables, moral distress, anxiety, depression, and coping mechanisms were anonymously evaluated through a self-reported questionnaire. Descriptive and correlation analyses were conducted, and multivariate linear regression models were developed to explore the predictive ability of moral distress and coping on anxiety and depression. Results Moral distress during the pandemic is determined by situations related to the patient and family, the ICU unit, and resource management of the organisations themselves. ICU staff already reached moderate levels of moral distress, anxiety, and depression during the first wave of the pandemic. Temporary ICU staff (redeployed from other units) obtained higher scores in these variables (p = 0.04, p = 0.038, and p = 0.009, respectively) than permanent ICU staff, as well as in greater intention to leave their current position (p = 0.03). This intention was also stronger in health staff working in areas converted into ICUs (45.2%) than in normal ICUs (40.2%) (p = 0.02). Moral distress, coupled with primarily avoidance-oriented coping styles, explains 37% (AdR²) of the variance in anxiety and 38% (AdR²) of the variance in depression. Conclusions Our study reveals that the emotional well-being of ICU staff was already at risk during the first wave of the pandemic. The moral distress they experienced was related to anxiety and depression issues, as well as the desire to leave the profession, and should be addressed, not only in permanent ICU staff, but also in temporary ICU staff, redeployed to these units as reinforcement workers.
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This study describes the conditions under which Israeli social workers in hospital settings operated s during the COVID-19 pandemic, and assesses their perceived support (informal and organizational support) and preparedness for the next pandemic. It further assesses correlates for perceived support and associations between perceived support and preparedness. The participants were 163 social workers from four hospitals who completed an on-line survey. The findings revealed that the level of exposure to COVID-19 and fear of contracting COVID-19 were unrelated to perceived informal and organizational support. Age and having children who are minors living at home moderated the relationship between fear of contracting
Conference Paper
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The possibility of relaxation in Quadruple Beltrami states for a system of dusty plasma of opposite polarity dust particles, electrons, and ions has been investigated. The macroscopic magnetic field structures are investigated in alliance with the differential flows of electrons, ions, positively and negatively charged dust grains. For a certain set of Beltrami parameters, it is observed that the system self-organized to Quadruple Beltrami state which is characterized by four eigenvalues. To derive Quadruple Beltrami equation, two different cases are assumed. The system allows a fully diamagnetic structure by considering all the inertial forces. The development of paramagnetic and diamagnetic structures has been observed by just ignoring the inertial effects of electrons. It has been shown that the features (paramagnetic or diamagnetic) of the relaxed structures are significantly modified by the eigenvalues and masses of the oppositely charged dust particles.
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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in December has seen more than 76,000 cases in China, causing more than 3,000 medical staff infections. As the disease is highly contagious, can be fatal in severe cases, and there are no specific medicines, it poses a huge threat to the life and health of nurses, leading to a severe impact on their emotional responses and coping strategies. Therefore, this study will investigate nurses’ emotional responses and coping styles, and conduct a comparative study with nursing college students. This study was conducted through the online survey ‘questionnaire star’ from February 1st to February 20th, 2020 in Anhui Province, using the snowball sampling method to invite subjects. The results found that women showed more severe anxiety and fear than men. Participants from cities exhibited these symptoms more than participants from rural areas, however rural participants experienced more sadness than urban participants. The nearer a COVID-19 zone is to the participants, the stronger the anxiety and anger. The COVID-19 outbreak has placed immense pressure on hospitals and those nurses at the frontline are more seriously affected. Hospitals should focus on providing psychological support to nurses and training in coping strategies.
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Importance Health care workers exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could be psychologically stressed. Objective To assess the magnitude of mental health outcomes and associated factors among health care workers treating patients exposed to COVID-19 in China. Design, Settings, and Participants This cross-sectional, survey-based, region-stratified study collected demographic data and mental health measurements from 1257 health care workers in 34 hospitals from January 29, 2020, to February 3, 2020, in China. Health care workers in hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 were eligible. Main Outcomes and Measures The degree of symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress was assessed by the Chinese versions of the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire, the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, the 7-item Insomnia Severity Index, and the 22-item Impact of Event Scale–Revised, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with mental health outcomes. Results A total of 1257 of 1830 contacted individuals completed the survey, with a participation rate of 68.7%. A total of 813 (64.7%) were aged 26 to 40 years, and 964 (76.7%) were women. Of all participants, 764 (60.8%) were nurses, and 493 (39.2%) were physicians; 760 (60.5%) worked in hospitals in Wuhan, and 522 (41.5%) were frontline health care workers. A considerable proportion of participants reported symptoms of depression (634 [50.4%]), anxiety (560 [44.6%]), insomnia (427 [34.0%]), and distress (899 [71.5%]). Nurses, women, frontline health care workers, and those working in Wuhan, China, reported more severe degrees of all measurements of mental health symptoms than other health care workers (eg, median [IQR] Patient Health Questionnaire scores among physicians vs nurses: 4.0 [1.0-7.0] vs 5.0 [2.0-8.0]; P = .007; median [interquartile range {IQR}] Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale scores among men vs women: 2.0 [0-6.0] vs 4.0 [1.0-7.0]; P < .001; median [IQR] Insomnia Severity Index scores among frontline vs second-line workers: 6.0 [2.0-11.0] vs 4.0 [1.0-8.0]; P < .001; median [IQR] Impact of Event Scale–Revised scores among those in Wuhan vs those in Hubei outside Wuhan and those outside Hubei: 21.0 [8.5-34.5] vs 18.0 [6.0-28.0] in Hubei outside Wuhan and 15.0 [4.0-26.0] outside Hubei; P < .001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed participants from outside Hubei province were associated with lower risk of experiencing symptoms of distress compared with those in Wuhan (odds ratio [OR], 0.62; 95% CI, 0.43-0.88; P = .008). Frontline health care workers engaged in direct diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with COVID-19 were associated with a higher risk of symptoms of depression (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.11-2.09; P = .01), anxiety (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.22-2.02; P < .001), insomnia (OR, 2.97; 95% CI, 1.92-4.60; P < .001), and distress (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.25-2.04; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance In this survey of heath care workers in hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan and other regions in China, participants reported experiencing psychological burden, especially nurses, women, those in Wuhan, and frontline health care workers directly engaged in the diagnosis, treatment, and care for patients with COVID-19.
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Background: Affected by a Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, Since December 2019, there have been more than 76,000 cases of COVID-19 in China, causing more than 3,000 medical staff infections. Due to COVID-19 spreads quickly, is highly contagious, and can be fatal in severe cases, and there are no specific medicines, it poses a huge threat to the life and health of nurses and has a large impact on their emotional responses and coping strategies. Methods: This study conducted an online questionnaire survey from February 1 to 9, 2020 to investigate the current state of emotional responses and coping strategies of nurses and college nursing students in Anhui Province. This study used a modified Brief COPE (Carver, 1997) and a emotional responses scale. Results: The results found that women showed more severe anxiety and fear than men. Participants from cities showed more anxiety and fear than participants from rural, but rural participants showed more sadness than urban participants. The closer COVID-19 is to the participants, the stronger the anxiety and anger. Compared with Nursing college students, nurses have stronger emotional responses and are more willing to use Problem-focused coping. People may have a cycle of "the more fear, the more problem-focused coping". And people may "The more angry, the more emotion-focused coping", "the more problem-focused coping, the more anxious, the more angry, the more sadness". Conclusion: COVID-19 is a pressure source with great influence, both for individuals and for the social public groups. Different individuals and groups may experience different levels of psychological crisis, and those nurses at the core of the incident are affected. Hospitals should focus on providing psychological support to nurses and providing timely psychological assistance and training in coping strategies. Improving nurses' ability to regulate emotions and effective coping strategies, providing a strong guarantee for resolutely winning the battle against epidemic prevention and control.
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In late December 2019, a cluster of cases with 2019 Novel Coronavirus pneumonia (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China, aroused worldwide concern. Previous studies have reported epidemiological and clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The purpose of this brief review is to summarize those published studies as of late February 2020 on the clinical features, symptoms, complications, and treatments of COVID-19 and help provide guidance for frontline medical staff in the clinical management of this outbreak.
We examine whether a daily mindfulness practice can help people cope better with quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak. We conducted a study in Wuhan, China between February 20th, 2020 and March 2nd, 2020. We randomly assigned participants to either a daily mindfulness practice or a daily mind-wandering practice. Mindfulness reduced daily anxiety. In addition, the sleep duration of participants in the mindfulness condition was less impacted by the increase of infections in the community compared with participants in the control condition. As the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and the number of cases reported in the community increase, our findings offer an evidence-based practice that may help people cope with news about an outbreak in the community.
Background Emergency nurses are frequently exposed to patient-related stressful situations, making them susceptible to emotional exhaustion and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The current study aims to assess differential effects of patient-related stressful situations (emotionally demanding situations, aggression/conflict situations, and critical events) on stress-related outcomes in emergency nurses, and to identify moderating factors based on the Job Demands-Resources model and the Effort-Recovery model (job demands, job resources, and recovery experiences during leisure time). Method A cross-sectional study was carried out among nurses working in the emergency departments of 19 hospitals in the Netherlands (N=692, response rate 73%). Data were collected by means of an online survey. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses were performed, controlling for sociodemographic variables. Results The frequency of exposure to patient-related stressful situations was positively related to stress-related outcomes, with emotionally demanding situations and aggression/conflict situations mainly explaining variance in emotional exhaustion (β = .16, p < .01, ∆R² = .08, and β = .22, p < .01, ∆R² = .13), whereas critical events mainly explained variance in post-traumatic stress symptoms (β = .29, p < .01, ∆R² = .11). Moderating effects were found for within worktime recovery and recovery during leisure time. Work-time demands, autonomy and social support from the supervisor were predictive of stress-related outcomes irrespectively of exposure to patient-related stressful situations. Conclusion As patient-related stressful situations are difficult if not impossible to reduce in an emergency department setting, the findings suggest it would be worthwhile to stimulate within worktime recovery as well as recovery experiences during leisure time, to protect emergency nurses from emotional exhaustion and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Furthermore, this study underscores the importance of reducing work-time demands and enhancing job resources to address stress-related outcomes in emergency nurses. Practical implications, strengths and limitations are discussed.