Factors Associated with Distress Among Medical Staff During the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Peru

Jeff Huarcaya-Victoria, Angela Podestá, Wendoline Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current COVID-19 pandemic affects the mental health of medical staff. Our objective was to evaluate the factors that are associated with the distress of physicians in two general hospitals in Lima, Peru. A cross-sectional correlational survey study was carried out. Physicians completed The Impact of Event Scale-Revised-22 (IES-R), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7). A total of 310 physicians completed the survey, 36.5% of whom reported distress symptoms. Higher levels of distress were reached by women, by those with a prior psychiatric diagnosis, by those who considered that the hospital does not provide adequate personal protective equipment, and by those who perceived stigma from family members. Multiple regression analysis showed that there is a correlation between distress symptoms and anxiety symptoms, (B = 0.509), depressive symptoms (B = 0.305), the total hours/week worked in the Emergency Department (B=−0.142), and the stigma perception (B = 0.096). Early intervention programs must be developed to support medical staff members exposed to severe distress situations such as the current viral pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Distress
  • Mental health
  • Peru
  • Physicians

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