Improving psychological outcomes in healthcare employees during an infectious disease outbreak were identified

Added March 26, 2020

Citation: Brooks SK, Dunn R, Amlôt R, Rubin GJ, Greenberg N. A systematic, thematic review of social and occupational factors associated with psychological outcomes in healthcare employees during an infectious disease outbreak. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2018; 60(3): 248-57

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a great strain on health systems and healthcare workers. Factors associated with psychological outcomes among healthcare workers involved in the SARS crisis were examined to identify recommendations for ways to reduce the risk of adverse mental health outcomes within healthcare organisations affected by epidemics, pandemics or emerging infectious diseases.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for quantitative research of a variety of designs. They restricted their search to articles published in English and did their search in 2015. They included 22 studies, and developed a list of considerations for protecting the mental health of healthcare workers during emerging infections.

What works: Provide appropriate specialized training to equip healthcare workers with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to operate under challenging conditions.

Managers should ensure they are approachable and supportive and should encourage supportive relationships among their staff.

Managers should ensure there is regular adequate communication of up-to-date facts about the epidemic and how to best protect oneself.

Managers should prepare employees for the potential impact of negative experiences such as isolation and discrimination and ensure support measures are in place for those who may face these experiences.

Web-based support or discussion groups may be useful to provide support during the crisis, thus potentially reducing feelings of social isolation.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Nothing noted.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.