- Job content, e.g., conflicting demands, lack of role clarity, lack of training and development opportunities, and lack of workers’ influence over the way the job is done.
- Work organisation and management, e.g., excessive workloads and work intensity, lack of workers’ involvement in making decisions that affect the worker (autonomy), poorly managed organisational changes, ineffective communication, working time arrangements, and poor work-life balance.
- The social context of the job, e.g., lack of support from management or colleagues, psychological and sexual harassment, third-party violence, and job insecurity .
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Scoping Review Design and Data Collection
- Identifying the research question with a broad scope: What are the main categories and factors of psychosocial risks to healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and the related prevention measures?
- Identifying relevant studies.
- Selecting studies as per the study protocol.
- Charting the data. Relevant information was extracted into an Excel sheet from the reviewed literature.
- Collating, summarising, and reporting the results in tables and charts according to key themes, with an analytical summary of the findings.
2.2. Identification of Relevant Studies
2.3. Study Selection
2.4. Data Chart and Results Overview
2.5. Study/Publication Types
2.6. Regions and Countries
2.7. Studied Settings, Occupations and Sample Characteristics
3.1. Negative Outcomes for Healthcare Workers
3.2. Psychosocial Risks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
3.2.1. Anxiety Related with the Risk of Infection Due to Lack of Adequate PPE
3.2.2. PPE Use Routines and Protocols Related with Anxiety and Physical Discomfort
3.2.3. PPE and Practice Disruptions
3.3. Psychosocial Risks and Job Content
3.3.1. Redeployment of HCWs to Covid-19 Care
3.3.2. Moral Injury
3.4. Psychosocial Risks and Work Organisation
Work Overload and Lack of Work-Life Balance
3.5. Societal and Social Demands as Sources of Psychosocial Risks
3.5.1. Stigmatisation and Violence against HCWs
3.5.2. Financial Stress
3.6. Interventions and Recommendations
- The long-term impact of the identified psychosocial factors. Evidence is needed regarding the psychological and physical health cost that HCWs pay while being exposed to the first as well as the second wave of the pandemic. Longitudinal study designs may be particularly helpful for studying the long-term effect of the pandemic on HCWs well-being, especially in the light of the care that has been postponed due to the pandemic and will burden health systems in the years to come.
- Psychosocial risks for different occupational groups of healthcare workers. Evidence should be collected regarding the risk factors that are particular for speech therapists, paramedics, support, catering, cleaning, and administrative staff in healthcare settings as well as for carers and therapists working in community settings. More evidence is also needed regarding the risk factors for HCWs employed in primary care settings, and social care, as well as in settings that were set particularly for the control of the pandemic (e.g., emergency lines workers, and people who administer Covid-19 tests). The emergence of new variants of the virus, such as the Variant of Concern (VOC) B.1.1.7, with substantially increased transmissibility compared to other variants, calls for new studies on the exposure of healthcare workers.
- The intersecting inequalities in psychosocial risks for healthcare workers, particularly for female HCWs. More evidence is needed regarding the actual mechanisms and contexts that increase intersectional vulnerabilities, such as precarious employment, in order to suggest effective prevention and intervention strategies, including: empirical evidence regarding the impact of the pandemic on the physical and psychological well-being of HCWs who identify as ethnic and racial minorities; and evidence on ethnic and/or racial inequalities in mental health outcomes among HCWs.
- Finally, an analysis of the combination of workplace and broader societal policy measures that can prevent and mitigate the identified psychosocial risks to healthcare workers is needed to strengthen the preparedness of health systems for future pandemics. Since the Covid-19 pandemic is the first to impact European health systems in a century, country specific analyses on HCWs’ working and employment conditions in relation to psychosocial risks merit further research.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Settings||Hospitals & Medical Centres||101||45.9|
|Medical & Non-Medical HCW||30||13.8|
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