Published online Jul 19, 2021. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v11.i7.337
Peer-review started: February 8, 2021
First decision: May 5, 2021
Revised: May 13, 2021
Accepted: June 23, 2021
Article in press: June 23, 2021
Published online: July 19, 2021
The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has put healthcare workers in an unprecedented situation, increasing their psychological and mental health distress. Much research has focused on the issues surrounding anxiety, depression, and stress among healthcare workers. The consequences of mental health problems on healthcare workers’ physical health, health-compromising behaviours, suicide ideation, family relationships, and job satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic are not well studied. Enhanced psychological stress has known effects on an individual’s physical health. In healthcare workers with pre-existing comorbidities, psychological stressors may exacerbate their current health problems. Healthcare professionals are known to have a high risk of substance use, hence they may be at risk of development of substance use addiction or vulnerable to addiction relapse. Frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers are being pushed above and beyond their limits, possibly resulting in suicidal tendencies. Furthermore, the burden of high workload and burnout may also have serious manifestations in relationships with family and an intention to quit their jobs. Future studies should explore the above-mentioned deleterious consequences to provide insight into the development of mental healthcare strategies to combat the psychological impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers during the COVID-19 emergency. It is imperative to employ strategies to care for and policies to protect the psychological well-being of healthcare workers.
Core Tip: Much has been investigated surrounding the issue of anxiety, depression, and stress during the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic among the healthcare workers in China. Nonetheless, the consequences of psychological and mental distress on healthcare workers’ physical health, general well-being, family relationships, job satisfaction, and anticipated turnover are not well studied. We herein discuss the multi-faceted consequences of psychological and mental health on healthcare workers in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. This review also highlights the important areas overlooked in research and mental health policies.