RA-COVID-19 V10 - Recherche - Action Coronavirus disease 2019 - Vague 10

Longitudinal survey on the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in healthcare workers – PSYCOVER

Submission summary

Background. Healthcare workers directly involved in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with Covid-19 during the Covid-19 health crisis were confronted with multiple sources of stress. Studies demonstrate that work overload and stress-related symptoms make healthcare workers particularly vulnerable to psychological suffering. In the new Covid-19 health crisis, a study estimated the prevalence of probable anxiety at 22.0% and probable depression at 19.2% among 214 healthcare workers in Wuhan. Furthermore, some early studies suggest the existence of social inequalities in mental health among healthcare workers during a health crisis. However, these studies are rare and the mental health of healthcare workers is poorly investigated, especially due to the fear of stigmatization. There is a need to estimate the impact of the first surge of the Covid-19 epidemic on the mental health of French healthcare workers, to collect data about social determinants and assess which ones might influence mental health in this population. In this context, it is also essential to offer them individual solutions to improve their mental wellbeing.
Objectives. The objectives of the PSYCOVER project are (1) To assess the mental health of healthcare workers who worked with patients infected or potentially infected by the Covid-19 at two time points: 6 and 18 months after the surge of Covid-19 patients (which lasted from March to May 2020); (2) To assess healthcare workers’ level of exposure to risks caused by the Covid-19 epidemic (patient care challenges, crisis standards of care, direct life threats, impacts on family and co-workers, low social support) in France using the PsySTART-R questionnaire; (3) To identify social determinants that might influence mental health of healthcare workers who worked with patients affected by the Covid-19 from March to May 2020; and (4) To propose the "Anticipate, Plan and Deter" program to enhance healthcare workers’ resilience.
Methods. We will conduct a longitudinal epidemiological survey on mental health of healthcare workers who worked with patients infected or suspected of being infected by the Covid-19. In the first wave of the survey, participants will be recruited via a web link (to a Limesurvey platform) that will be widely distributed on social networks, by the services concerned and by the medical boards. Questionnaires will be sent to participants in mid-November 2020 (wave 1) and in mid-November 2021 (wave 2). Participants will then answer questions regarding their socio-demographic characteristics, work, general health and mental health (post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, resilience, burnout, and others questions), substance abuse, perceived discrimination, support at work and social support. Participants will be invited to fulfill (1) the PsySTART-R questionnaire which assess the individual level of exposure of each participant to risk factors that could predict PTSD and (2) the Anticipate.Plan.Deter (ADP) Program which is designed to enhance the resilience capacity by giving the opportunity to develop and employ a personal coping plan to proactively manage and mitigate risk factors.
Perspectives. This survey will offer an immediate benefit for the participants because the PsySTART-R questionnaire will allow them (1) to individually monitor their level of exposure to stress, and (2) benefit from individualized advices based on cognitive-behavioral strategies to face moderate to high risks of exposure to stress via the APD program. The diffusion of this project (dissemination of results, development of recommendations) will be done fast so health professionals can benefit from it, especially if a new surge occurs. In the short term, we will be able to provide the scientific community knowledge about a population for whom mental health is rarely surveyed, and at last, this project proposes a method that could be transposed to other contexts and populations.

Project coordination

Cécile VUILLERMOZ (Institut Pierre Louis d'épidémiologie et de santé publique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


iPLESP Institut Pierre Louis d'épidémiologie et de santé publique
BPH Bordeaux Population Health Research Center

Help of the ANR 67,284 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2020 - 12 Months

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