Dr. Nurit Fischer-Shemer


SOCW 223: Practice-Informed Research in Health Sciences

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The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has caused various mental health problems globally. Due to its spread, health care workers (HCWs) and patients are suffering from adverse mental health. This study focused on the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of healthcare workers. It aims to raise awareness of the mental health issues faced by healthcare workers.

The study involved a survey anonymously completed by healthcare workers and those who provided direct patient care during COVID-19 pandemic. The study collected data through an online survey which involved a few demographic questions followed by 23 multiple-choice questions. Participation was entirely voluntary. All participants were healthcare workers who were recruited from a hospital in Sacramento, California hospital. Every participant was considered at risk for the COVID-19 infection, while half of the participants worked full-time.


Research conducted on other infectious diseases, such as the 1918 Spanish flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and swine flu (H1N1), revealed the adverse mental health effects on the population, specifically HCWs. Researchers provide a brief history of the previous pandemics, healthcare workers' definition, role in previous pandemics, the healthcare system, and industry.

Findings & Conclusions

Results show that there is still a stigma surrounding mental health and that healthcare providers need to be more effective in addressing this issue. Researchers found that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted HCWs' mental health; most participants experienced increased stress and anxiety, lacked social support but were aware of resources. This study emphasizes the importance of addressing the psychological well-being of HCWs amidst the pandemic. During the pandemic, participants experienced increased emotional exhaustion 80 %, compassion fatigue 77.5%, work-related dread 72.5%, and 52.5% difficulty sleeping. These conditions could lead to worsening mental health issues. Researchers noticed a correlation between gender and adverse mental health outcomes, burnout, and other factors related to increased negative mental health problems.


Researchers recommend additional intervention programs for healthcare workers to help them manage their stress levels and mental health. Future research is needed to analyze the policies and procedures related to the mental health services provided by healthcare organizations.