Comparison of emotional approaches of medical doctors against COVID-19 pandemic: Eastern and Western Mediterranean countries

Ozen G., Zanfardino A., Ozen G., AÇAN B., Piscopo A., Casaburo F., ...More

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.75, no.12, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 75 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/ijcp.14973
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, MEDLINE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background Pandemics are states of disease that occur worldwide and sharply increase in populations. It causes life events which trigger anxiety, depression, anger, sleep deprivation, emotional distress and stress. World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, pointing to the over 118,000 cases in over 110 countries. Many healthcare workers became ill during the pandemic and some among them died. In this study, we aimed to evaluate and compare level of stress against COVID-19 pandemic among doctors from Turkey and Italy. Methods This research is a cross-sectional study in which Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale (STSS) are administered online via social networks. All data collection tools were delivered to individuals between 1 and 15 June 2020 and filled in online with Google Forms application. In total, 618 individuals were included in this study and all of them were medical doctors. Results Higher PS and STS levels were found related to female gender, being married, working in pandemic hospital and older ages. Stress levels were found statistically higher in Turkish doctors when compared to Italian doctors for both stress scales (Turkish/Italian PSS:20.18 +/- 7.90/ 19.35 +/- 6.71, STSS: 44.19 +/- 13.29/ 38.83 +/- 13.74). Conclusion The number of doctors per 1000 of population is lower and per capita visits to a physician are higher in Turkey when compared to Italy. Besides pandemic, these heavier working conditions, increased weekly working hours can cause stress for Turkish doctors. Reporting information such this study is important and international collaborations are essential to plan future prevention strategies. We need to strengthen international ties and build more international collaborations rather than staying within our national silos. Additionally, interventions to promote mental well-being in health care professionals exposed to COVID-19 need to be immediately implemented.