The current pandemic of SARS COVID-19 has resulted in a fairly uncommon healthcare crisis with a high predominance of healthcare providers’ psychological distress. This study documents the ubiquity of the burnout syndrome amongst the intensivists who are facing the COVID-19 outbreak. A cross-sectional survey among intensivists, a part of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, was carried out by assessing symptoms of burnout, depression, and anxiety using the Cox model.
The overall response rate was 20% (1001 completed questionnaires were received, median age 45 years, 34% women, 85 countries, 12 regions, and 50% university hospitals). The predominance of anxiety and depression symptoms of severe burnout and anxiety or depression symptoms was 51%, 30.2%, and 46.5%, respectively, and varied significantly across regions. Over six million confirmed cases globally and more than 350,000 deaths recorded from February to May 2020, the pandemic has proven to be a significant healthcare crisis. Previous epidemics or outbreaks involving quarantine have emphasized that healthcare workers might develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and substance abuse disorder.
The prolonged working hours, the number of infected patients that need care, and inadequate logistic assistance are associated with the highest mental strain. The follow-up and management are sanctioned to assess the long-term psychological outcomes and relieve the immense psychological stress on exhausted frontline professionals.