Data_Sheet_1_The Role of Coping Behavior in Healthcare Workers' Distress and Somatization During the COVID-19 Pandemic.PDF (58.97 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_The Role of Coping Behavior in Healthcare Workers' Distress and Somatization During the COVID-19 Pandemic.PDF

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posted on 2021-07-23, 04:28 authored by Erik Franck, Filip Haegdorens, Eva Goossens, Yannic van Gils, Michael Portzky, Francis Somville, Majed Abuawad, Stijn Slootmans, Peter Van Bogaert

Background: Constantly searching for a balance between work demands and their own physical and psychological health has challenged medical and nursing staff during the immediate wake of this COVID-19 viral epidemic leading to acute stress reactions and psychosomatic symptoms. Coping behavior might be a buffer for work-related stress in relation to mental well-being. The present study aims to evaluate the role of positive and negative stress-reducing activities on healthcare workers' mental and physical well-being.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using an online survey that was sent out using our network of healthcare workers at the University of Antwerp and through social media. Socio-demographic data, coping behavior with the Palliative Pallet Scale (P3), and distress and somatization using the Four-dimensional symptom checklist were collected. Surveys were completed by 1,376 participants.

Results: The results clearly showed that positive stress-reducing activities are related to fewer symptoms of distress and somatization. Providing direct care to COVID-19 patients was associated with a higher decrease of applying positive stress-reducing activities during the peak of the pandemic compared to the ideal situation. Finally, fewer symptoms of distress and somatization were associated with the following activities: reading, mind sports games, keeping a hobby collection, studying; engaging in sexual activities with your partner; cleaning the house, tidying up, working in the garden, doing household chores; exercising alone; walking, or taking a trip together with someone; exercise together with someone; watching TV, listening/playing (to) music/, playing computer games; playing a card game or other board game; and preparing something extra tasteful outside regular meals.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated an association between concrete coping behaviors and distress and somatization in healthcare workers during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results provide relevant and additional insights to develop and investigate interventions among others in personal leadership and resilience.