Indirect trauma among healthcare providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kelantan, Malaysia
This article was originally published here
PLoS One. 2021 Jun 4; 16 (6): e0252603. doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0252603. Electronic collection 2021.
BACKGROUND: In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, primary care providers who are engaged in the diagnosis, treatment and direct care of patients face a high risk of infection, but receive inadequate protection against contamination and minimal support to deal with overwork, frustration, and burnout. These issues have created significant psychological and mental health issues for frontline health care providers. This study aimed to compare the levels of vicarious trauma between primary and non-primary care providers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODOLOGY: All subjects meeting the inclusion criteria were recruited for this comparative cross-sectional study, which was conducted from May to July 2020 at two hospitals in Kelantan, Malaysia. A self-administered questionnaire, the Vicarious Malaise Version Trauma Questionnaire and the Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey, were used. Descriptive analysis, independent t-test, and analysis of covariance were performed using SPSS Statistics version 26.
RESULTS: A total of 160 primary care providers and 146 non-primary health care providers were recruited. Vicarious trauma was significantly higher in non-primary healthcare providers (estimated marginal mean [95% CI]: 79.7 [75.12, 84.30]) compared to primary care providers (estimated marginal mean [95% CI]: 74.3 [68.26, 80.37]) after adjustment for gender, duration of employment and social support.
Conclusion: The level of vicarious trauma was higher in non-primary care workers than in primary care providers. However, the level of severity can differ from person to person, depending on how they manage their physical, psychological and mental health. Therefore, the support of a variety of resources, such as colleagues, family, the general public, and government, can play a critical role in the mental health of health care providers.