More than half Spain’s health workers suffering post-traumatic stress due to coronavirus crisis

BURNOUT: One in four hospital health workers reported they feel emotionally exhausted CREDIT: Son Espases - Hospital Universitari Facebook @SonEspases

MORE than half of Spain’s health staff working in hospitals during the coronavirus crisis have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and 80 per cent are suffering from anxiety, a new study reveals.

Preliminary results from the an investigation carried out by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid Work Psychology and Safety Studies Laboratory show that 53 per cent of hospital health workers display symptoms compatible with PTSD and 79.5 per cent have symptoms of anxiety, of which 21.2 per cent could be severe cases.

The study is based on the experience of 1,243 health workers at different hospitals. Nine out of 10 work in Madrid, Spain’s worst affected area by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Study authors Dr Lourdes Luceño Moreno and Jesus Martin Garcia concluded that depression is another issue. Just over 50 per cent of those taking part in the study have symptoms. Of these, 5.6 per cent could be severe.

One in four reported they were emotionally exhausted.

At the same time, more than 80 per cent said they like working in their profession and nearly one in four showed “high levels of resilience.”

The investigators concluded that psychological support for health workers is advisable, warning that if there were to be a second wave of the virus “we will find ourselves dealing with emotionally damaged professionals and with a health system without the capacity to respond.”

A further finding from the study is that 66 per cent of the health workers treating patients with coronavirus believe there is a “very high” probability of infection, and three out of four are “very worried” about the possibility of infecting a member of their families.


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