Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after the first wave of the Pandemic in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients and Health Professionals in a Front-line Spanish Tertiary Hospital: a retrospective observational study
The COVID-19 pandemic had a serious impact on mental health, associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after infection and within healthcare professionals. We propose to compare the semiology, evolution and trauma-associated variables between both groups in a sample of patients. An observational retrospective study was performed, including 42 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 31 health professionals, treated at the Mental Health Service of the Hospital 12 de Octubre, between June 2020/21, with a diagnosis of PTSD. Mental state evaluation was performed through a standard clinical interview. Additionally, the 8-item treatment-outcome post-traumatic stress disorder scale (TOP-8) was administered. Demographic data, variables related to hospital stay and pre/peri/post-trauma variables considered of interest were collected. All analyses were performed using the Stata 16 program. Health professionals showed higher levels of recovery, however no significant differences were found in the initial severity of the PTSD. Regarding the symptom pattern it was similar between both groups, except that professionals presented more dissociation during the traumatic event. In general, the subjects presented mainly intrusive symptoms, hyperarousal and sleep-related difficulties. Having witnessed suffering or death, and the gypsy ethnic group, were the variables with the greatest impact in the PTSD severity. These results suggest that the COVID-19 leaves important psychological sequelae such as PTSD, both in infection survivors and in health professionals. Differences found could be due to dissimilarities in coping resources and therapeutic adherence styles. We consider that knowing the variables involved can help improve intervention in these vulnerable groups.
Ansiedad y Estrés
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