Covid-19 impacting mental health of doctors, finds study | Chandigarh News


CHANDIGARH: The dreaded coronavirus pandemic that has snuffed out over 15,000 lives and infected nearly 6 lakh people in Punjab is taking a toll on the mental health of doctors treating patients, says a study done by the Government Medical College and Rajindra Hospital, Patiala.
The study revealed that higher level of stress has been found among younger doctors — junior and senior residents — as compared to faculty who were older in age.
To assess the level of stress among doctors working in Covid-19 wards, a three-member team of psychiatry department of the hospital conducted the study in which 250 doctors participated. According to the study, over 62% of doctors were found to have moderate stress and about 28% high stress. Only 10% of doctors reported low stress. Not a single doctor was found to be stress free. The stress increased significantly with increasing time spent in the Covid ward.
Nearly 50% of doctors experienced nervousness and got stressed and angry as they felt unable to control important things in their lives. They have been upset because of fear that something might happen unexpectedly. About 40% felt they could not cope with all things they had to do while nearly one-third of doctors felt that difficulties were piling up so high that they could not overcome them.
To ease out stress and burden, the study by Dr Rohit Garg, Dr Aditi Singla and Dr Jasmin Garg — findings of which have been published in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences — recommended that doctors should be provided adequate rest in between duty hours. To reduce their workload, there is a need to hire more workforce besides fast-tracking medical students to join the workforce and involving retired doctors and private doctors. Doctors should not be involved in administrative works.
It has also been recommended that regular training of doctors in stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques should be held on a regular basis.
“Setting up a support group of psychiatrists who regularly remain in touch with other physicians can be a useful strategy. Besides, social media platforms and support groups can also be used to disperse information on stress management and other aspects of mental health well-being,” said Dr Rohit Garg.
The study concluded: “Stress management should be an integral part of the curriculum of doctors so that they can serve humanity efficiently and effectively during the pandemic and in future.”


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