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Mental Health Outcomes Among Healthcare Workers and the General Population During the COVID-19 in Italy.

  • Rossi, Rodolfo1
  • Socci, Valentina2
  • Pacitti, Francesca2
  • Mensi, Sonia3
  • Di Marco, Antinisca4
  • Siracusano, Alberto1, 5
  • Di Lorenzo, Giorgio1, 6
  • 1 Chair of Psychiatry, Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 2 Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 3 Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 4 Department of Information Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 5 Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology Unit, Fondazione Policlinico Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
  • 6 IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy. , (Italy)
Published Article
Frontiers in Psychology
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.608986
PMID: 33363500


During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers in Italy have been exposed to an unprecedented pressure and traumatic events. However, no direct comparison with the general population is available so far. The aim of this study is to detail mental health outcomes in healthcare workers compared to the general population. 24050 respondents completed an on-line questionnaire during the contagion peak, 21342 general population, 1295 second-line healthcare workers, and 1411 front-line healthcare workers. Depressive, anxious, post-traumatic symptoms and insomnia were assessed. Specific COVID-19 related potential risk factors were also considered in healthcare workers. Depressive symptoms were more frequent in the general population (28.12%) and front-line healthcare workers (28.35%) compared to the second-line healthcare workers (19.98%) groups. Anxiety symptoms showed a prevalence of 21.25% in the general population, 18.05% for second-line healthcare workers, and 20.55% for front-line healthcare workers. Insomnia showed a prevalence of 7.82, 6.58, and 9.92% for the general population, second-line healthcare workers, and front-line healthcare workers, respectively. Compared to the general population, front-line healthcare workers had higher odds of endorsing total trauma-related symptoms. Both second-line healthcare workers and front-line healthcare workers had higher odds of endorsing core post-traumatic symptoms compared to the general population, while second-line healthcare workers had lower odds of endorsing negative affect and dissociative symptoms. Higher total traumatic symptom score was associated with being a front-line healthcare worker, having a colleague infected, hospitalized, or deceased, being a nurse, female gender, and younger age. This study suggests a significant psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Italian general population and healthcare workers. Front-line healthcare workers represent a specific at-risk population for post-traumatic symptoms. These findings underline the importance of monitoring and intervention strategies. Copyright © 2020 Rossi, Socci, Pacitti, Mensi, Di Marco, Siracusano and Di Lorenzo.

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