Mental health assessment of Spanish frontline healthcare workers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Pau Sobregrau Sangrà*, Thaís Castro Ribeiro, Silvia Esteban-Sepúlveda, Esther García Pagès, Beatriz López Barbeito, Jordi Aguiló Llobet, José Luís Pomar Moya-Prats, Luís Pintor Pérez, Sira Aguiló Mir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective: The Covid-19 pandemic continues challenging health systems globally, exposing healthcare workers to constant physical and psychological stressors. To date, several studies have already shown the catastrophic impact on the mental health of medical personnel during the early period of the pandemic. Nevertheless, literature evidences the dearth of works that evaluate the effect over time, understanding the pandemic as a sustained extreme stressor. The present study examines the effect of the pandemic on the mental health of Covid-19 frontline healthcare workers at six months follow-up. Material and methods: A total of 141 frontline healthcare workers from two tertiary hospitals were recruited between July and November 2020. Healthcare workers were evaluated psychologically at baseline and six months follow-up (January to May 2021) using psychometric tests for the assessment of acute stress (VASS, PSS-10, PCL-5), anxiety (STAI) and depression (PHQ-2) Results: Overall, there was a general worsening of the mental health between the two psychological assessments, especially regarding depression and predisposition to perceiving the situations as a threat. Nurses and nurse aides showed poorer mental health while physicians improved over time. Reduced working hours and higher physical exercise resulted in better mental health among healthcare workers. Women and nursing staff were the most affected by psychological distress at baseline and six months follow-up. Conclusion: Reduced working hours, adequate resting periods, physical exercise, and efficient intervention strategies are of utmost importance in preventing, controlling, and reducing psychological distress among healthcare workers when coping with critical scenarios such as the current pandemic.

Translated title of the contributionAnálisis de la salud mental de trabajadores sanitarios españoles de primera línea durante la pandemia por SARS-CoV-2
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-277
Number of pages10
JournalMedicina clinica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2022


  • SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Acute stress symptoms
  • Depression symptoms
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Healthcare workers


Dive into the research topics of 'Mental health assessment of Spanish frontline healthcare workers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this