Session Title: Research Spotlight: Pandemic
Session Time: None. Available on demand.
Disclosures: Steven Jow, MD: No financial relationships or conflicts of interest
Objective: Our aim was to identify if therapists demonstrated higher rates of depression and anxiety after the initial peak of COVID-19 admissions at an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF).
Design: Cross-Sectional StudySetting : Inpatient Rehabilitation FacilityParticipants : Thirty-seven participants consisting of physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), and speech language pathologists (SLP)
Interventions: Twenty-five question survey regarding possible stressors including Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) was administered in October 2020.
Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcomes were positive screens for depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7). Secondary outcomes were associations between PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores and possible stressors.
Results: The mean PHQ-9 score for all therapists was 5.1, consistent with mild risk for depression. The mean GAD-7 score was 5.6, consistent with mild risk for anxiety. Therapists who were under the age of 30 had a significantly higher risk of anxiety (PHQ-9 score = 9.8, p < 0.05). All therapists reported experiencing increased stress around performing their job duties (100%). Only half of therapists reported feeling safe caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at the beginning of the first IRF peak (50%). The majority reported that they would have liked to receive more information from the treating physician on safety measures (77.1%). The most commonly cited source of helpful information on how to take precautions treating patients with COVID-19 was the infection control nurse (61.1%).Conclusions: Physical, occupational, and speech therapists working in IRFs faced numerous challenges during COVID-19. Overall, therapists demonstrated a mild risk for depression and anxiety, likely due to the various stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Less years of experience may be associated with increased risk of anxiety. Increased communication from the team physiatrist and infection control may potentially alleviate some of the stress on the treating therapists.
Level of Evidence: Level III
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Jow S, Malmut L, Doshi S. Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Therapists in Rehabilitation Facility [abstract]. PM R. 2021; 13(S1)(suppl 1). https://pmrjabstracts.org/abstract/mental-health-impact-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-therapists-in-rehabilitation-facility/. Accessed December 3, 2023.
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PM&R Meeting Abstracts - https://pmrjabstracts.org/abstract/mental-health-impact-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-therapists-in-rehabilitation-facility/