COVID-19, burnout and suicide

 In February 2020, on Jama Psychiatry, it was published the article “The Loss of Social Connectedness as a Major Contributor to Physician Burnout – Applying Organizational and Teamwork Principles for Prevention and Recovery” (LINK HERE). 

In this period, in which medical teams from all over the world are engaged to fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the necessity for psychological support is a hot topic. 

Physicians are called to work many hours everyday, with a huge number of unknown patients, with individual protections and, when they come back home, they prefer to stay alone to protect their families. All of these factors can produce feelings of loneliness, sadness and tiredness. Moreover, everyday they could face off with death and feelings of impotence against a disease still not well known. All these feelings may enhance the risk of anxiety, depression, burnout and suicide. 

The study published on Jama stresses the association between burnout, loneliness and social isolation; inadequate support from colleagues and leaders, community and so on.  

During this pandemic it is essential not to forget that in order to reduce burnout and permit professionists to give their best it is essential to prioritize human connections and teamwork so they can give optimal patient care. 


References: 
  • Southwick SM, Southwick FS. The Loss of Social Connectedness as a Major Contributor to Physician BurnoutApplying Organizational and Teamwork Principles for Prevention and RecoveryJAMA Psychiatry. 2020;77(5):449–450. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.4800

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