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The COVID-19 pandemic caused drastic changes in healthcare and severe social restrictions. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are on the front line against the virus and have been highly exposed to pandemic-related stressors, but there are limited data on their psychological involvement for a large sample in Italy.
To investigate the prevalence of anxiety, distress and burnout in HCWs of North-West Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to detect potential psychosocial factors associated with their emotional response.
This cross-sectional, survey-based study enrolled 797 HCWs. Participants completed the Impact of Event Scale – Revised, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory – Form Y and the Maslach Burnout Inventory; demographic, family and work characteristics were also collected. Global psychological outcome, differences among professions and independent factors associated with worst psychological outcome were assessed.
Almost a third of the sample had severe state anxiety and distress, high emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation, and low personal accomplishment. Distress was higher in women and nurses, whereas depersonalisation was higher in men. Family division, increased workload, job changes and frequent contact with COVID-19 were associated with worst psychological outcome. Trait anxiety was associated with significantly higher risk for developing state anxiety, distress and burnout.
An elevated psychological burden related to the COVID-19 pandemic was observed in HCWs of North-West Italy. The identification of family and work characteristics and a psychological pre-existing condition as factors associated with worst psychological outcome may help provide a tailored, preventive, organisational and psychological approach in counteracting the psychological effects of future pandemics.
The assessment of outcome in schizophrenic patients should consider both the response to treatment and the recovery of social skills. The aim was to evaluate the outcome and related psychostructural and clinical factors in schizophrenic patients after they underwent 6 months of residential multimodal treatment.
Fifty-two schizophrenic patients enrolled in a multimodal treatment program were included in the study. Symptomatology and social functioning were assessed with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS). The Karolinska Psychodynamic Profile (KAPP) was used for the psychostructural evaluation.
After 6 months there was a significant improvement in the global scores of BPRS, SOFAS, and some areas of KAPP. The personality (KAPP) and social-occupational functioning (SOFAS) at baseline (T0) correlated with the global score of BPRS at 6 months (T6); moreover, SOFAS at T6 correlated with BPRS and KAPP at T0 and with the illness duration.
The better the personality functioning in schizophrenic patients the better seems to be the response to treatment, with regard to symptoms as well as rehabilitation. Personality assessment might be useful for the individualisation of therapies, even within the context of a standardised program.
Given the increasing number of patients requiring palliative care and the need for more professionals who are able to provide care for the dying comfortably, assessment of medical attitudes toward end-of-life care is becoming a key aspect of medical education. The present study aimed to establish whether the Frommelt Attitude Toward the Care Of the Dying, Form B (FATCOD–B) meets current psychometric standards of validity for an assessment tool in medical education.
The participants were 200 undergraduate medical students. Since in a previous study the FATCOD–B was found to have a weak structure due to poor item validity, a refined version was proposed and tested in the present study. Confirmatory factor analysis and the Rasch model were employed to assess its dimensionality and psychometric properties.
The construct measured by the FATCOD–B continues to be misspecified. The tool has a two-dimensional structure. The first is well-structured and demonstrates appreciable measurement and discriminant capabilities. The second has low validity because its measurement capabilities are based on weakly correlated items.
Significance of results:
Our results suggest that the FATCOD–B measures a two-dimensional construct and that only its first dimension is a robust measurement tool for use in medical education to evaluate undergraduates' attitudes about caring for the dying.
A steady increase in the number of patients requiring end-of-life care has been observed during the last decades. The assessment of healthcare students' attitudes toward end-of-life care is an important step in their curriculum, as it provides information about their disposition to practice palliative medicine. The Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale (FATCOD–B) was developed to detect such a disposition, but its psychometric properties are yet to be clearly defined.
A convenience sample of 608 second-year medical students participated in our study in the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 academic years. All participants completed the FATCOD–B. The sample was randomly divided in two subsamples. In the item analysis, reliability (Cronbach's α), internal consistency (item–total correlations), and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were conducted using the first subsample (n = 300). Using the second subsample (n = 308), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed using the robust ML method in the Lisrel program.
Reliability for all items was 0.699. Item–total correlations, ranging from 0.03 to 0.39, were weak. EFA identified a two-dimensional orthogonal solution, explaining 20% of total variance. CFA upheld the two-dimensional model, but the loadings on the dimensions and their respective indicators were weak and equal to zero for certain items.
Significance of Results:
The findings of the present study suggest that the FATCOD–B measures a two-dimensional construct and that several items seem in need of revision. Future research oriented toward building a revised version of the scale should pay attention to item ambiguity and take particular care to distinguish among items that concern emotions and beliefs related to end-of-life care, as well as their subjects (e.g., the healthcare provider, the patient, his family).
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