Post-traumatic stress symptoms in mental healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak

South African Journal of Psychiatry

Field Value
Title Post-traumatic stress symptoms in mental healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak
Creator Human, Allison K. Vahed, Nadira Marais, Belinda
Subject Psychiatry post-traumatic stress symptoms; mental healthcare workers; COVID-19; coping skills; perceived social support; Gauteng province; South Africa
Description Background: In the context of disease outbreaks, healthcare workers are exposed to multiple physical and psychological stressors, which may result in severe mental health outcomes. Although existing literature explores this impact, it is focused on frontline workers, with limited evidence exploring the mental well-being of mental healthcare workers (MHCWs).Aim: To explore post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and associated factors among MHCWs within the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.Setting: Four academic hospitals in the Gauteng province, South Africa, with specialised psychiatric units.Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. Participants were selected using a simple random sampling technique and invited to participate in structured interviews. Measurement tools included a demographic questionnaire, the post-traumatic stress disorder checklist for DSM-5 and the Brief Resilient Coping Scale.Results: A total of 120 MHCWs participated. The prevalence of PTSS was 11.7%. The MHCWs’ profession was a significant predictor of the occurrence of PTSS (p = 0.046), with nurses being the most affected. Other socio-demographic, employment, COVID-19-related factors and coping skills were not predictors of PTSS.Conclusion: An elevated prevalence of PTSS has been found and was significantly associated with the profession of the MHCW. It is recommended that existing employee wellness programmes be strengthened to promote mental well-being and improve resilience among MHCWs, particularly vulnerable employee groups.Contribution: This study provides insight into the prevalence of PTSS among MHCWs following the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as associated factors.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2023-10-24
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — cross sectional; hospital based survey
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v29i0.2098
Source South African Journal of Psychiatry; Vol 29 (2023); 7 pages 2078-6786 1608-9685
Language eng
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Coverage South Africa; Gauteng July 2021 - June 2022 mental healthcare workers
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Allison K. Human, Nadira Vahed, Belinda Marais