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Mental Health Intervention for Healthcare Workers

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Clinical trial shows that psychological intervention reduces depression in healthcare workers

Healthcare workers (HCWs) face significant mental health challenges due to their demanding profession. Stressors like heavy workloads, long hours, and witnessing trauma impact their well-being. Strategies to support them include creating a supportive work environment, providing mental health training and resources, implementing peer support programs, and promoting work-life balance.

Regular mental health check-ins and destigmatizing mental health also play a role. Prioritizing healthcare workers' mental health is vital for their well-being and the quality of patient care. We can foster a healthier and more resilient healthcare workforce by recognizing their challenges and implementing supportive measures.

Clinical Trial

A clinical trial assessed the effectiveness of a mental health intervention for reducing anxiety and depression symptoms among HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to enhanced care as usual (eCAU). The intervention group received a stepped-care program consisting of two interventions developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and adapted for HCWs: Doing What Matters in Times of Stress (DWM) and Problem Management Plus (PM+).

Each intervention lasted five weeks and was delivered remotely by non-specialist mental health providers. HCWs who continued to experience psychological distress after completing DWM were invited to participate in PM+. The primary outcome measure was self-reported anxiety and depression symptoms using the Patient Health Questionnaire-Anxiety and Depression Scale at week 21.

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Results

Between November 2021 and March 2022, 115 participants were assigned to the stepped-care intervention group, while 117 were assigned to eCAU. The intervention group demonstrated a more significant reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms than the eCAU group at the primary endpoint. The difference between the groups was statistically significant, indicating the effectiveness of the intervention. No serious adverse events were reported during the study.

Conclusion

Brief stepped-care psychological interventions effectively reduced anxiety and depression symptoms among HCWs during heightened stress. The findings of this study have important clinical implications, as they can inform policies and actions to protect the mental health of HCWs during major health crises. Additionally, the intervention model used in this study has the potential for rapid replication in other settings where workers are affected by global emergencies.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.