Psychological Differences Among Healthcare Workers of a Rehabilitation Institute During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Two-Step Study

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Introduction: Healthcare workers facing the threatening COVID-19 can experience severe difficulties. Despite the need to evaluate both the psychological distress and positive protective resources, brief and reliable assessment tools are lacking. Aim: Study 1 aimed at developing a new assessment tool to measure psychological distress and esteem in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Study 2 aimed to explore and compare the psychological reactions of healthcare workers of the COVID-19 and the non-COVID-19 wards. Methods: In Study 1, psychologists created 25 items based on their clinical experience. A preliminary qualitative evaluation selected the best 15 items for the new tool (CPI-HP) assessing the COVID-19 psychological impact with 2 scales: psychological distress and esteem. The CPI-HP was administered to 110 healthcare professionals to study its psychometric properties and the internal structure with exploratory graph analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Study 2 compared two groups of healthcare professionals of the COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 departments. Results: In Study 1, the CPI-HP showed satisfying psychometric properties, and the two-factor structure was confirmed with good fit indices. In Study 2, the two groups of healthcare workers showed comparable levels of psychological distress and resilient coping, but the COVID-19 group displayed significantly higher esteem and appreciation of the experience. Discussion: All operators showed high psychological distress during the emergency, but the COVID-19 group reported higher resources, probably due to stronger group cohesion and greater esteem, perceived meaning, and own work value. Conclusion: Assessing the psychological distress and resources of healthcare professionals with specific tools is important. Psychological interventions should promote their psychological health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636129
Number of pages11
JournalFront. Psychol.
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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