Women in health-care capacities at a higher risk of stress, burnout and depression amid COVID-19 pandemic

Women in health-care capacities are at a higher risk of stress and depression amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Canadian study finds.

In the new findings, not yet peer-reviewed but available online, researchers at the University of Toronto highlight the serious complications for young women and mid-career women, affected by the novel coronavirus.

“Our early findings suggest that the pandemic is resulting in a number of serious negative health outcomes for women, specifically younger and mid-career women, triggered by a variety of individual, organizational, and systems-level factors,” said Abi Sriharan, the study’s lead author.

According to recent studies, the new coronavirus pandemic has resulted in sociological, psychological, and economic impacts for women mainly due to their parental role and family-related obligations.

The early findings demonstrate the likelihood of heightened stress, burnout, and depression during a pandemic, while also implicating the risk of substance use and severe depressive-related repercussions.

“Our preliminary findings show that women HCWs are at increased risk for stress, burnout, and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the findings state.

“These negative outcomes are triggered by individual-level factors such as lack of social support; family status; organizational factors such as access to personal protective equipment or high workload; and systems-level factors such as prevalence of COVID-19, rapidly changing public health guidelines, and a lack of recognition at work.”

“If we don’t act quickly to create organizational culture to support women working in health care, there will be significant, long-term impacts on our health-care delivery infrastructure,” Sriharan concluded.

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