The influence of COVID-19 on the psychological well being of residence well being employees in Japan

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Health workers in home care facilities have played a critical role in serving vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now researchers from Japan have found that these workers need more support to stay sane.

In a study recently published in BMC Primary Care, researchers from Tsukuba University showed that anxiety related to contracting COVID-19, as well as anxiety and depression, varies among home care workers by occupation.

Home caregivers (home-HCWs), such as visiting physicians, nurses, medical social workers, caregivers, and others, engage in a community environment for patients and increase their risk of contracting diseases like COVID-19. As a result, these individuals have faced very onerous working conditions during the pandemic. Effectively supporting these workers requires more information about their specific mental health needs, which the Tsukuba University researchers wanted to address.

“Little is known about the magnitude of anxiety, depression, and fear of contracting COVID-19 among homeworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says the study’s lead author, assistant professor Jun Hamano. “Information about these mental health determinants could help improve efforts to improve the work environment for medical workers in home care settings.”

To do this, the researchers asked home health workers at several centers in Japan to fill out an anonymous online survey on factors affecting mental health in the workplace, including information about workload, support availability and information quality of interprofessional collaboration and the fear of infection with COVID-19 as well as anxiety and depression. The survey was conducted during the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Japanese government declared a state of emergency.

‘The results were revealing,’ explains Assistant Professor Hamano. “We found that work, teamwork, and unmet support needs were associated with fear of contracting COVID-19 and mental health in home HCWs.”

Additionally, non-physicians such as nurses, medical social workers, and medical office workers were more likely than physicians to be anxious and depressed during the pandemic.

“Our findings suggest that mental health support for home HCWs should be tailored to individuals based on their occupation,” says assistant professor Hamano.

Because medical practice staff and home care social workers are often the first to interact with patients, these staff may be at increased risk of infection and therefore greater fear of contracting COVID-19. Adequate infection control systems and psychological support, as well as doctors and nurses, are required for these workers. Additionally, efforts to increase perceptions of good teamwork can help reduce COVID-19-related anxiety and anxiety and depression among all healthcare workers.

COVID-19 increased mental health risks among caregivers

More information:
Jun Hamano et al., Exploration of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of home health care workers in Japan: a multicenter cross-section web-based survey, BMC Primary Care (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s12875-022-01745-4 Provided by Tsukuba University

Citation: The impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of home health care workers in Japan (2022, May 31), retrieved May 31, 2022 from -mental-health-home.html

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