Covid-19 pandemic impact on mental health: a web-based cross-sectional survey on a sample of Italian general practitioners

Covid-19 pandemic impact on mental health: a web-based cross-sectional survey on a sample of Italian general practitioners

Authors

  • Andrea Amerio Department of Neuroscience, Section of Psychiatry, University of Parma, Parma, Italy. Mood Disorders Program, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA.
  • Davide Bianchi Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), Section of Psychiatry, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy
  • Francesca Santi Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), Section of Psychiatry, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy
  • Luigi Costantini Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
  • Anna Odone Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
  • Carlo Signorelli Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
  • Alessandra Costanza Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva (UNIGE), Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Psychiatry, ASO Santi Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo Hospital, Alessandria, Italy
  • Gianluca Serafini Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), Section of Psychiatry, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy
  • Mario Amore Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), Section of Psychiatry, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy
  • Andrea Aguglia Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), Section of Psychiatry, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy

Keywords:

Covid-19, General practitioners, Mental Health, Italy

Abstract

Background: Since the World Health Organization declared the new 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak first a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and then a pandemic, Italy held more than 195.350 cases and 26.380 deaths. Working in the frontline with suspected Covid-19 infection patients, general practitioners (GPs) are daily under both physical and psychological pressure.  Methods: A web-based cross-sectional survey was carried out on italian GPs working in Genoa (Italy), to assess the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on mental health. The survey was anonymous and a free Google Forms® software was used. Results: One hundred thirty-one GPs completed the survey. Compared to GPs with absent or mild depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 < 10), GPs reporting moderate to severe depressive symptoms (N=30, 22.9%; PHQ-9 ≥ 10) reported more helplessness (96.7% vs. 79.2%, p=.025), spent more than three hours searching for COVID-19 information (43.3% vs. 19.8%, p=.024), perceived less adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) (6.7% vs. 23.8%, p=.049) and visited more COVID-19 infected patients (16.63 ± 27.30 vs. 9.52 ± 11.75, p=.041). Moreover, PHQ-9 ≥ 10 GPs reported a significant higher severity for both anxiety and insomnia (13.43 ± 4.96 vs. 4.88 ± 3.53 and 11.60 ± 5.53 vs. 4.84 ± 3.81, respectively; p<.001), and a worse quality of life in both mental (34.60 ± 7.45 vs. 46.01 ± 7.83, p<.001) and physical (43.50 ± 9.37 vs. 52.94 ± 4.78, p<.001) component summary. Conclusions: Our results give early insight into the urgent need to provide continuity of care for patients at the community-level, adequate PPE to GPs and a clear guidance from public health institutions. A precarious healthcare system both at a national and regional level might have triggered negative mental health outcomes in Italian GPs.

Author Biography

Andrea Amerio, Department of Neuroscience, Section of Psychiatry, University of Parma, Parma, Italy. Mood Disorders Program, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA.

Department of Neuroscience, Section of Psychiatry, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

Resident in Psychiatry

PhD Candidate in Medical Sciences

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Published

11-05-2020

Issue

Section

ORIGINAL INVESTIGATIONS/COMMENTARIES - SPECIAL COVID19

How to Cite

1.
Covid-19 pandemic impact on mental health: a web-based cross-sectional survey on a sample of Italian general practitioners. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2020 May 11 [cited 2024 Apr. 23];91(2):83-8. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/9619

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