In China, young physicians were subjected to gradually worsening mental health symptoms, including a reduction in mood and fear of violence following the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a recent study determined. The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.
According to researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan, 726 trained physicians were recruited into a health study in mid-2019, completing surveys before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the surveys, the trained physicians were assessed for any trace of generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and workplace violence using a questionnaire, scale, and rating system.
Researchers found that the physicians exhibited worsening mental health symptoms and fear of violence following the pandemic.
“These findings may reflect training physicians’ added clinical workload with the emergence of COVID-19 and are consistent with past evidence that the additional stressors physicians face during infectious disease outbreaks place them at greater risk for both short-term and long-term mental health problems,” stated the Shanghai Jiao Tong and Michigan-based researchers in their findings.
“With most new cases now outside China, ensuring that physicians receive appropriate support and access to mental health services is increasingly imperative, for their own well-being, as well as that of their patients and the global community,” they concluded.