Data_Sheet_1_Coping Strategies and Psychopathological Responses Among Medical and Non-medical Professionals – a Cross-Sectional Online Survey.docx
Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was announced on March 11th, 2020, due to a surge of newly confirmed cases that significantly impacted populations worldwide, both directly and indirectly. Based on past epidemics research, the mental health implications of introduced restrictions should be expected and adequately addressed irrespective of the practiced profession.
Objective: The study aimed to explore psychopathological responses, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), concerning coping strategy clusters during the COVID-19 pandemic among medical and non-medical workers.
Methods: A cross-sectional web survey of the general population of internet users was performed from March 16th to April 26th, 2020, in Poland during the first peak of COVID-19 cases. A sample of 1,831 professionally active respondents, 64.0% of which pursuing a medical career, filled out General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28), The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and MiniCOPE, along with the socio-demographic questionnaire exploring personal as well as the work-related possibility of direct exposure to contagion and availability of proper protection, contact with the infected without accurate protective measures as well as the adequacy of workers when compared settings.
Results: Individuals labeled with specific clusters had significantly different psychopathological manifestations. Irrespective of performed job maladaptive cluster was associated with significantly higher GHQ-28 and IES-R scores on total subscales and all subscales compared to those representing the non-specific and adaptive cluster. Similar findings were observed concerning the frequency of the GHQ-28 positive score. Moreover, the non-specific cluster was associated with significantly higher GHQ-28 total scores among medical professionals. However, GHQ-28 positive scores were significantly more frequent in medical workers using adaptive clusters when compared to non-specific. Such relations were not observed in the non-medical group.
IES-R total and subscales' scores did not significantly vary within medical and non-medical groups when adaptive and non-specific clusters were compared. Pursuing a non-medical career was found to be a determinant of lower scores, while female sex was observed to be determinant of higher scores in both GHQ-28 and IES-R scales.
Conclusions: Positive screening for psychopathological and PTSD symptoms was expected regardless of the analyzed groups' coping strategies. Given the dramatically developing situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, support initiatives grounded in research evidence may be essential for maintaining the mental well-being and resilience of both the medical and non-medical workforce.