The psychological impact of the Coronavirus emergency on physicians and nurses: An Italian observational study

Maria Chiara Carriero, Luana Conte, Marica Calignano, Roberto Lupo, Antonino Calabrò, Pietro Santoro, Giovanna Artioli, Cosimo Caldararo, Maurizio Ercolani, Maicol Carvello, Antonio Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim of the work: The Coronavirus has put a strain on the response capacity of health systems and there are various psychological effects on health workers. Aim of the study: To investigate the psychological impact of the coronavirus emergency on physicians and nurses. Methods: A study was conducted on a sample of nurses and physicians (n=770), who were asked to fill in a questionnaire investigating physical and psychological problems. It also included the IES (Impact Event Scale), STAI (State Trait Anxiety Inventory) scale and BDI (Beck Depression Inventory). Results: 87.7% of the sample was represented by nurses (n=675), 12.3% (n=95) by physicians. 52.3% (n=403). Among the psychological symptoms, stress (76.2%; n=587), anxiety (59.4%; n=457) and depression (11.8%) prevailed and only 3.9% of the healthcare personnel sought help from a psychologist. The total score of the IES-R scale was 3.47. A significant association emerged between exposure and the risk of contagion (p-value = 0.003), stress was more present among nurses than among physicians (77.5% vs. 67.4%; p = 0.003). Among physical symptoms, headache (52.2%; n=402) and pressure injuries (24.8% n= 191) prevailed. Conclusions: The results of the study show that mental health monitoring of health workers, who are at risk of developing major psychological disorders, is a priority.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021030
JournalActa Biomedica
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Health workers
  • Mental health
  • Pandemic
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological impact
  • Psychological intervention
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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