Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Severity of Traumatic Stress Associated with COVID-19 Pandemic, Perception of Support, Sense of Security, and Sense of Meaning in Life Among Nurses: Research Protocol and Preliminary Results from Poland

Version 1 : Received: 6 August 2020 / Approved: 7 August 2020 / Online: 7 August 2020 (08:10:28 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Nowicki, G.J.; Ślusarska, B.; Tucholska, K.; Naylor, K.; Chrzan-Rodak, A.; Niedorys, B. The Severity of Traumatic Stress Associated with COVID-19 Pandemic, Perception of Support, Sense of Security, and Sense of Meaning in Life among Nurses: Research Protocol and Preliminary Results from Poland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6491. Nowicki, G.J.; Ślusarska, B.; Tucholska, K.; Naylor, K.; Chrzan-Rodak, A.; Niedorys, B. The Severity of Traumatic Stress Associated with COVID-19 Pandemic, Perception of Support, Sense of Security, and Sense of Meaning in Life among Nurses: Research Protocol and Preliminary Results from Poland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6491.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6491
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17186491

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic affects not only physical health but also deteriorates mental health resulting in sleep problems, depression, and traumatic stress. Our research investigates the level of posttraumatic stress, perceived social support, opinions on positive and negative consequences of the pandemic, sense of security, and sense of meaning among nurses in the face of new and not fully understood global epidemiological phenomena. For this purpose, computer-assisted web interviewing methods were conducted between May 1 and May 15, 2020. Participating nurses completed the following research tools: The Impact Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), The Changes in Outlook Questionnaire (CIOQ), The Safety Experience Questionnaire (SEQ) and The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ). Three hundred and twenty-five nurses working throughout Poland joined the study of an average age of 39.18 ± 11.16 years. The average overall IES-R score in the study group was 1.78 ± 0.65. Among the dimensions of traumatic stress, the highest score was obtained in the dimension Avoidance 1.86 ± 0.73, then in the dimensions Hyperarousal 1.8 ± 0.78 and Intrusion 1.74 ± 0.83. Amongst studied nurses, the highest support rates were provided by significant others (22.58 ± 5.22), then from friends (21.91 ± 5) and family (21.45 ± 4.4). Among the surveyed nurses, higher average scores were noted in the subscale measuring positive psychological changes (18.56 ± 4.04). In contrast, a higher average level of assessment was noted on the Reflection on the safety dimension (4.21 ± 0.49). The mean MLQ score was 5.33 ± 0.87. A slightly higher result was observed in the subscale Presence (5.35 ± 1.14). The results of the research implemented during the period of severe psychological pressure associated with the COVID-19 pandemic provided information on symptoms of traumatic stress in the examined group of nurses. Their sense of security has been lowered and accompanied by an intensified reflection on issues concerning security. However, the sense of meaning (currently felt) in life remains higher than the tendency to searching for it. The surveyed nurses perceive individual support from the so-called significant others (apart from family and friends). They see positive changes resulting from painful experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be characterized by adaptation in the form of posttraumatic growth.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; nurses; posttraumatic stress disorder; perceived social support; changes in outlook; sense of security; meaning in life

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