Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Family Medicine

Posted in Research

People: Courtney Goetz, Sukhesh Sudan, Judy Arnetz, Bengt Arnetz

In the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted an online survey among Michigan nurses to gather information on their access to personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as their self-reported mental health. Among the 695 nurses who responded to the survey, 40% were in frequent contact with COVID patients while 25% reported that their workplace did not provide them with adequate PPE. Nurses lacking access to PPE were more likely to report symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The more contact nurses had with COVID patients, the greater the severity of their mental health problems. Conversely, the better the provision of PPE, the lower the reported prevalence of mental health problems.  Healthcare organizations should be aware of the magnitude of mental health problems among nurses and vigilant in providing them with adequate PPE as the pandemic continues.


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