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Study record
Sani 2022First Published: 2022 May 13Updated Date: 2022 May 13

Psychopathological burden and coping strategies among frontline and second-line Italian healthcare workers facing the COVID-19 emergency: findings from the COMET collaborative network

  1. Study Type
  2. Observational
  1. Study Aim
  2. Health Services Research
  1. Study Design
  2. Cross-sectional
  1. Intervention Assignment
  2. Not Applicable
Reference record

Psychopathological burden and coping strategies among frontline and second-line Italian healthcare workers facing the COVID-19 emergency: findings from the COMET collaborative network

Sani G, Janiri D, Moccia L, Albert U, Carra G, Carmassi C, Cirulli F, Dell'Osso B, Menculini G, Nanni MG, Pompili M, Volpe U, Fiorillo A
Journal article
Report Results
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to explore the psychopathological burden related to COVID-19 together with coping strategies in healthcare workers, focusing on differences between frontline and second-line workers. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study part of the COvid Mental hEalth Trial (COMET). Participants' socio-demographic and COVID-19-related information was collected through an online survey. Psychiatric symptoms and coping strategies were also investigated. Multivariate analyses, corrected for demographic characteristics, were adopted to assess differences between frontline and second-line workers. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 20,720 individuals. Healthcare workers (n = 2907) presented with significantly higher risk for mental health disturbances as compared to the rest of the sample (p < 0.001). Healthcare professionals working versus not working on the front line differed in living in severely impacted areas (p < 0.001), precautionary isolation by COVID-19 (p < 0.001), infection by COVID-19 (p < 0.001). Frontline workers also reported significantly increased insomnia (p < 0.001), depression (p = 0.007), anxiety (p < 0.001), obsessive-compulsive symptoms (p < 0.001), non-specific chronic and acute traumatic stress (p < 0.001; p < 0.001), as well as more adaptive coping strategies (p = 0.001). LIMITATIONS: The survey was conducted between March and June 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy. Accordingly, the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic might have changed over time. The survey design involved online invitation and it was not possible to assess the participation rate. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the largest study addressing the psychopathological burden of Italian healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak and associated coping strategies. Empowering supportive interventions is crucial for the whole healthcare workforce