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Journal section "Socio-humanitarian research"

Psycho-Emotional State of Medical Personnel in the Vologda Oblast During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Results of a Sociological Survey

Shmatova Y.E., Razvarina I.N.

Volume 8, Issue 3, 2022

Shmatova Yu.E., Razvarina I.N. (2022). Psycho-Emotional State of Medical Personnel in the Vologda Oblast During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Results of a Sociological Survey. Social area, 8(3). DOI: 10.15838/sa.2022.3.35.7 URL: http://socialarea-journal.ru/article/29383?_lang=en

DOI: 10.15838/sa.2022.3.35.7

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The purpose of the work is to assess the psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for medical staff working in the “red zone”. The authors used general scientific and empirical research methods. The information base is the data of a sociological survey conducted by the Vologda Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences in February 2021. The survey covered 67 medical workers of the Vologda Oblast mono-hospitals, and 1500 residents of the region. The scientific novelty of the work lies in assessing the prevalence of psychological problems and psychoemotional disorders among the medical staff, their strategies for coping with stress and the identification of high-risk groups. The research found that one third of the surveyed have symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, 18% feel stress, 6% have suicidal thoughts, 4,5% have suicide plans. At the same time, 18% of the medical staff felt that psychological support was unavailable, and 35% agreed that it was necessary to have a staff psychologist. Health workers experienced groundhog day syndrome, suffered from the negative attitude of others and had to face the problem of death of acquaintances, patients and colleagues much more often than the other population of the region. The medical staff of mono-hospitals demonstrated greater stress tolerance than the general population, but they more often chose destructive methods of coping with anxiety: drinking alcohol, taking illegal drugs, and smoking. The most vulnerable were senior and mid-level medical staff; men; age categories over 50 or under 30. The risk of developing symptoms of depression is positively correlated with the respondent’s age. Young employees are aware of the worsening psychological state, they want to seek help, but are deprived of this possibility, try to overcome the growing anxiety through alcohol and tobacco use. With age, the share of those who resort to these coping strategies decreases. However experienced medical workers (over 50) more often deny mental health problems and the need for specialized help, they are ashamed to ask for it due to stigmatization and fear of loss of authority, and try to cope on their own. Therefore, these categories of medical staff should become the main groups of impact of preventive measures to strengthen the psycho-emotional state, prevent burnout, preserve professional qualities during a period of increased pressure on the health care system

Keywords

mental health, risk groups, suicidal behavior, depression, COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety, psychological state, psychological problems, medical staff

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