Predictive risk factors for post-traumatic stress symptoms among nurses during the Italian acute COVID-19 outbreak
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University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy
Submission date: 2020-08-06
Final revision date: 2020-10-08
Acceptance date: 2020-10-08
Online publication date: 2020-11-27
Publication date: 2020-11-27
Health Psychology Report 2021;9(2):180–185
The aim of the study was to investigate the posttraumatic stress disorder risk in nurses, detecting the relation-ship between distress experience and personality dimensions in the Italian acute COVID-19 outbreak. The study is an observational study conducted in March 2020.

Participants and procedure:
Mental screening was carried out in the Laboratory of Clinical Psychology on N = 36 nurses in the age range 22-64 years (M = 37.30, SD = 12.60). 76.3% were working in nursing care with confirmed COVID-19 patients; 47.4% of nurses worked in a high COVID-19 rate environment, whereas 52.6% worked in a low COVID-19 rate environment.

The results confirm relation between anxiety and peritraumatic dissociation and posttraumatic stress; also anx-iety is positively correlated with the agreeableness variable. Our finding was obtained in an acute Italian COVID-19 outbreak and measured and quantified the psychological response of nurses in terms of anxiety as an early reaction for emotional distress and high risk for posttraumatic stress disorders; the personality dimen-sions did not mediate the emotional distress or the probable risk for posttraumatic stress disorder. Nurses ap-peared to be exposed to mental distress and needed help.

The results evidenced the need to carry out a mental health program for health workers (especially nursing professionals).

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