A one-year prospective study of work-related mental health in the intensivists of a COVID-19 hub hospital

Nicola Magnavita, Paolo Maurizio Soave, Massimo Antonelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


; e h b Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely tested the physical and mental health of health care workers (HCWs). The various stages of the epidemic have posed different problems; consequently, only a prospective study can effectively describe the changes in the workers’ health. This repeated cross-sectional study is based on a one-year investigation (spring 2020 to spring 2021) of intensive care physicians in one of the two COVID-19 hub hospitals in Central Italy and aims to study the evolution of the mental health status of intensivists during the pandemic. Changes in their work activity due to the pandemic were studied anonymously together with their perception of organisational justice, occupational stress, sleep quality, anxiety, depression, burnout, job satisfaction, happiness, and intention to quit. In May–June 2021, one year after the baseline, doctors reported an increased workload, isolation at work and in their social life, a lack of time for physical activity and meditation, and compassion fatigue. Stress was inversely associated with the perception of justice in safety procedures and directly correlated with work isolation. Occupational stress was significantly associated with anxiety, depression, burnout, dissatisfaction, and their intention to quit. Procedural justice was significantly associated with happiness. Doctors believed vaccinations would help control the problem; however, this positive attitude had not yet resulted in improved mental health. Doctors reported high levels of distress (73%), sleep problems (28%), anxiety (25%), and depression (64%). Interventions to correct the situation are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9888
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Anaesthetists
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Emergency
  • Infectious disease
  • Insomnia
  • Lone-liness
  • Longitudinal study
  • Meditation
  • Mental health
  • Occupational health
  • Organisational justice
  • Prayer
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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