Care home workers suffer Covid trauma, anxiety: study

Nearly half of care home workers in northern Italy may be suffering from post-traumatic stress or anxiety following the first wave of the pandemic, new research showed Wednesday.

As Covid-19 began its spread throughout Europe, northern regions of Italy — home to a high proportion of elderly people — were at the frontline as intensive care units were inundated with patients.

While much attention was focused on the physical health of first responders and doctors, far less study has been given over to the mental well-being of the nurses, cleaners and caterers at care homes.

Researchers in Italy and Britain conducted an anonymous survey of more than 1,000 care home workers to check their levels of stress and anxiety after months of caring for sick residents.

They found that 43 percent of respondents passed the symptom threshold for anxiety and PTSD.

“Due to the severity of the situation, we were expecting a reasonably high prevalence, but not as high as we found,” Elena Rusconi, from the University of Trento’s Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, told AFP. (AFP | Patrick GALEY)

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