Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Portuguese Nurses’ Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Reduction Strategies During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Version 1 : Received: 26 February 2021 / Approved: 1 March 2021 / Online: 1 March 2021 (13:05:05 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Pinho, L.G.; Sampaio, F.; Sequeira, C.; Teixeira, L.; Fonseca, C.; Lopes, M.J. Portuguese Nurses’ Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Reduction Strategies during the COVID-19 Outbreak. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3490. Pinho, L.G.; Sampaio, F.; Sequeira, C.; Teixeira, L.; Fonseca, C.; Lopes, M.J. Portuguese Nurses’ Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Reduction Strategies during the COVID-19 Outbreak. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3490.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3490
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18073490

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to mental health problems worldwide. Nurses are particularly prone to stress because they directly care for individuals with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. The aim of this study is to explore the association between the mental health promotion strategies used by nurses during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and their symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, and to compare the strategies and symptoms of mental health nurses and non-mental health nurses. Cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 821 nurses. Portuguese nurses demonstrated high symptoms of depressive symptoms, stress, and anxiety. Healthy eating, physical activity, rest between shifts, maintaining social contacts, verbalizing feelings/emotions, and spending less time searching for information about COVID-19 are associated with better mental health. Mental health nurses have less depression, anxiety, and stress, and use more strategies to promote mental health than other nurses. We consider it important to promote nurses’ mental health literacy by encouraging them to develop skills and strategies aimed at improving their resilience and ability to deal with difficult situations while caring for the population.

Keywords

anxiety; COVID-19; depression; mental health; mental health nurses; nurses; Portugal; stress

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