Sumary of Study evaluates ICU workers’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- A high proportion of staff working in intensive care units during the COVID-19 pandemic have experienced mental health conditions, according to a new study.
- In a study of 515 healthcare staff working in intensive care units (ICUs) across seven countries, the researchers found that on average 48 percent of participants showed signs of mental health conditions – depression, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Their mental health was assessed using a detailed questionnaire and a clinical scoring system.
- The study, led by researchers at Imperial College London, is published in the British Journal of Nursing and is the first to evaluate ICU workers’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In line with the UK Government’s report on burnout in NHS staff published in June 2021, the researchers suggest that the high level of mental health conditions found among the ICU staff surveyed should inform local and national wellbeing policies.
- This is a timely study which acts as a stark reminder of the personal challenges healthcare staff are facing as a result of COVID-19. As within wider society, mental illness of healthcare staff still remains a taboo subject for some.
- COVID-19 has acutely exacerbated the issue, and our concern is how staff resilience has been exhausted and what national medium or long term resources are set in place by policy makers to safeguard this workforce from severe mental illness.
- We have an opportunity to hold a national dialogue of healthcare leaders, stakeholders and governments around the world to address mental health within healthcare.