Symptoms of Anxiety, Depression, and Peritraumatic Dissociation

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The article of Azoulay et al. (2020) provides a cross-sectional study that examines symptoms of anxiety, depression and peritraumatic dissociation in critical care clinicians managing patients with COVID-19. There is a high risk of mental morbidity among frontline healthcare providers (HCPs) during the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the research of Azoulay et al. (2020) study aims to assess the prevalence of mental health issues in HCPs.

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The study clearly identified the phenomenon and related research question. With regards to researcher’s perspectives, there is not enough literature review on the topic of mental health. This can be due to the lack of studies as COVID-19 is relatively new subject in research. Yet, Azoulay et al. (2020) could add some case studies on the issue, such as Di Tella (2020) research on mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis in Italy. The article of Azoulay et al. (2020) also could categorize HCPs by their extent of interaction with patients as some HCPs may interact with critical COVID-19 patients more than others. For example, Sanghera et al. (2020) examine symptoms of anxiety and depression in healthcare professionals that work with the same patients for several months. Azoulay et al. (2020) have a comprehensive analysis of existing scholarship although there is some place for improvement.

The research method is a cross-sectional study in 21 ICUs in France between April 20, 2020, and May 21, 2020. It sued The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experience Questionnaire while identifying factors that lead to mental health disorders. The sample selection of Azoulay et al. (2020) included total of 1058 respondents from different ICUs in France. It is a good choice of sample as it is not too large and focused on one country. There is also discussion of how the conducted study can be applied for a broader context. Data collection was done through a survey, and it was anonymous. Due to this, respondents could be comfortable to answer the questions related to their mental well-being. However, surveys did not provide a comprehensive look on each specific case, generalizing people’s perspectives. As such, a semi-structured interview could be relevant for such research related to mental health.

The data analysis of the study is impressive as they presented it in a table and graphs, showing patterns and outliers. Every claim regarding the symptoms was justified by relying on exiting literature. The findings supported the initial claims that HCPs experience mental health problems frequently when working with critical patients with COVID-19. Azoulay et al. (2020) found that healthcare workers experience emotional burden during the pandemic and that there is a need for an effective strategy to overcome such mental health issues. Yet, there is no recommendation on how to stabilize mental well-being of healthcare professionals. It seems that the study could include some analysis of various methods used to maintain wellbeing of workers.

To conclude, the paper of Azoulay et al. (2020) addresses mental health issues of healthcare workers that work with critical patients with COVID-19 daily. HCPs experience mental disturbances while taking care of patients and the finding supported this assumption. The study was a cross-sectional that suited every criterion of the qualitative research. However, there are some moments that could be addressed in the research, such as its theoretical background and method of collecting the information.


Azoulay, E., Cariou, A., Bruneel, F., Demoule, A., Kouatchet, A., Reuter, D.,… & Kentish-Barnes, N. (2020). Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and peritraumatic dissociation in critical care clinicians managing patients with COVID-19. A cross-sectional study. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 202(10), 1388-1398.

Di Tella, M., Romeo, A., Benfante, A., & Castelli, L. (2020). Mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Italy. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 26(6), 1583-1587.

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Sanghera, J., Pattani, N., Hashmi, Y., Varley, K. F., Cheruvu, M. S., Bradley, A., & Burke, J. R. (2020). The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the mental health of healthcare workers in a hospital setting-A Systematic Review. Journal of Occupational Health, 62(1), e12175.