NURSES’ PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS DURING THE FIRST COVID-19 LOCKDOWN IN ITALY A nationwide cross-sectional study in stem cell transplantation setting.

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Stefano Botti
Chiara Cannici
Sarah Liptrott
Valentina De Cecco
Elena Rostagno
Gianpaolo Gargiulo
Laura Orlando
Caime Alessandro
Emanuela Samarani
Letizia Galgano
Marco Cioce
Nicola Mordini
Nadia Mandelli
Lucia Tombari
Sara Errichiello
Nicola Celon
Roberto Lupo
Teresa Rea
Nicola Serra


COVID-19, Stem Cell Transplantationn, Nurses, Pandemic, Burnout, Sleep Disorders


Background and objective: Northern Italy was one of the first European territories to deal with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Drastic emergency restrictions were introduced across the country to contain the spread and limit pressure on healthcare facilities. Nurses were at high risk of developing physical, mental and working issues due to professional exposure. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate these issues among nurses working in Italian hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Data were collected online immediately after the first "lockdown" period in order to investigate the prevalence of physical issues, sleep disorders and burnout symptoms and explore correlations with COVID-19 territorial incidence in Northern Italian regions versus Central and Southern Italian regions.

Results: Three hundred and eight nurses working in 61 Italian HSCT Units responded to the survey. Depression, cough and fever were more frequently reported by nurses working in geographical areas less affected by the pandemic (p=0.0013, p<0.0001 and p=0.0005 respectively) as well as worst sleep quality (p=0.008). Moderate levels of emotional exhaustion (mean±SD - 17.4±13.0), depersonalization (5.3±6.1) and personal accomplishment (33.2±10.7) were reported without significant differences between territories.

Conclusions: different COVID-19 incidence among territories did not influenced nurses’ burden of symptoms in HSCT setting. However, burnout and insomnia levels should be considered by health care facilities in order to improve preventive strategies.


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