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      COVID-19-Related Mental Health Effects in the Workplace: A Narrative Review

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          Abstract

          The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has deeply altered social and working environments in several ways. Social distancing policies, mandatory lockdowns, isolation periods, and anxiety of getting sick, along with the suspension of productive activity, loss of income, and fear of the future, jointly influence the mental health of citizens and workers. Workplace aspects can play a crucial role on moderating or worsening mental health of people facing this pandemic scenario. The purpose of this literature review is to deepen the psychological aspects linked to workplace factors, following the epidemic rise of COVID-19, in order to address upcoming psychological critical issues in the workplaces. We performed a literature search using Google Scholar, PubMed, and Scopus, selecting papers focusing on workers’ psychological problems that can be related to the workplace during the pandemic. Thirty-five articles were included. Mental issues related to the health emergency, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and sleep disorders are more likely to affect healthcare workers, especially those on the frontline, migrant workers, and workers in contact with the public. Job insecurity, long periods of isolation, and uncertainty of the future worsen the psychological condition, especially in younger people and in those with a higher educational background. Multiple organizational and work-related interventions can mitigate this scenario, such as the improvement of workplace infrastructures, the adoption of correct and shared anti-contagion measures, including regular personal protective equipment (PPE) supply, and the implementation of resilience training programs. This review sets the basis for a better understanding of the psychological conditions of workers during the pandemic, integrating individual and social perspectives, and providing insight into possible individual, social, and occupational approaches to this “psychological pandemic”.

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          Most cited references 81

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          A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019

          Summary In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause was linked to a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China. A previously unknown betacoronavirus was discovered through the use of unbiased sequencing in samples from patients with pneumonia. Human airway epithelial cells were used to isolate a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, which formed a clade within the subgenus sarbecovirus, Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. Different from both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans. Enhanced surveillance and further investigation are ongoing. (Funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China.)
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            Factors Associated With Mental Health Outcomes Among Health Care Workers Exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019

            Key Points Question What factors are associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers in China who are treating patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Findings In this cross-sectional study of 1257 health care workers in 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 in multiple regions of China, a considerable proportion of health care workers reported experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress, especially women, nurses, those in Wuhan, and front-line health care workers directly engaged in diagnosing, treating, or providing nursing care to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Meaning These findings suggest that, among Chinese health care workers exposed to COVID-19, women, nurses, those in Wuhan, and front-line health care workers have a high risk of developing unfavorable mental health outcomes and may need psychological support or interventions.
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              Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science

              Summary The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental health and physical health. We explore the psychological, social, and neuroscientific effects of COVID-19 and set out the immediate priorities and longer-term strategies for mental health science research. These priorities were informed by surveys of the public and an expert panel convened by the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the mental health research charity, MQ: Transforming Mental Health, in the first weeks of the pandemic in the UK in March, 2020. We urge UK research funding agencies to work with researchers, people with lived experience, and others to establish a high level coordination group to ensure that these research priorities are addressed, and to allow new ones to be identified over time. The need to maintain high-quality research standards is imperative. International collaboration and a global perspective will be beneficial. An immediate priority is collecting high-quality data on the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the whole population and vulnerable groups, and on brain function, cognition, and mental health of patients with COVID-19. There is an urgent need for research to address how mental health consequences for vulnerable groups can be mitigated under pandemic conditions, and on the impact of repeated media consumption and health messaging around COVID-19. Discovery, evaluation, and refinement of mechanistically driven interventions to address the psychological, social, and neuroscientific aspects of the pandemic are required. Rising to this challenge will require integration across disciplines and sectors, and should be done together with people with lived experience. New funding will be required to meet these priorities, and it can be efficiently leveraged by the UK's world-leading infrastructure. This Position Paper provides a strategy that may be both adapted for, and integrated with, research efforts in other countries.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                27 October 2020
                November 2020
                : 17
                : 21
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Human Sciences, European University of Rome, via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190, 00163 Rome, Italy; gabriele.giorgi@ 123456unier.it
                [2 ]Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla, 3, 50134 Florence, Italy; luigiisaia.lecca@ 123456unifi.it (L.I.L.); nicola.mucci@ 123456unifi.it (N.M.)
                [3 ]Business @ Health Laboratory, European University of Rome, via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190, 00163 Rome, Italy; federico.alessio94@ 123456gmail.com (F.A.); g.liberafinstad@ 123456gmail.com (G.L.F.); giorgia.bondanini@ 123456gmail.com (G.B.)
                [4 ]School of Occupational Medicine, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla, 3, 50134 Florence, Italy; lucreziaginevra.lulli@ 123456unifi.it
                Author notes
                Article
                ijerph-17-07857
                10.3390/ijerph17217857
                7663773
                33120930
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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