Review

Mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak: A rapid scoping review to inform provincial guidelines in South Africa

L J Robertson, I Maposa, H Somaroo, O Johnson

Abstract


COVID-19 is prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. The healthcare response to the pandemic depends upon a mentally and physically healthy workforce. Infectious disease outbreaks cause high psychosocial stress among healthcare workers, which may impact negatively on workplace functioning. To understand which mental health conditions may occur and which interventions could be considered, we conducted a rapid scoping review. Using a 2018 systematic review as the starting point, PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science and MEDLINE databases were searched for any type of evidence published in English between 2014 and 2020 on mental health of healthcare workers exposed to infectious disease outbreaks; 19 primary studies and 13 opinion pieces were included. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and other mental health conditions were noted among healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 and other outbreaks. Although no effectiveness studies were identified, certain proposed interventions may be implemented by healthcare leaders. Further research is recommended.


Authors' affiliations

L J Robertson, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Community Psychiatrist, Sedibeng District Health Services, Gauteng, South Africa

I Maposa, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

H Somaroo, Department of Community Health, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Gauteng Department of Health, South Africa

O Johnson, Centre for Implementation Science, Health Services and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK; Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Mental health; Healthcare workers; COVID-19; Infectious disease outbreaks; Pandemic

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(10):1010-1019. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i10.15022

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-09-30
Date published: 2020-09-30

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