Study Evaluates Insomnia and Suicidality Among Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Factors including trust of information, fear, and resilience were related to insomnia and suicidal thoughts in healthcare workers, general population and outpatients.

Study Evaluates Insomnia and Suicidality Among Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Some of the negatibe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic included the prevalence of insomnia and suicidal thoughts. A team of investigators led by Yi-Hsuan Lin, Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, decided to evaluate further by assessing what factors contributed to the psychological problems that intensified during this period.

The study aimed to examine the impact of these factors among 3 study groups including healthcare workers, outpatients, and individuals in the general population of Taiwan. With further understanding, strategies to aid in these areas of mental health can be developed.

The main findings of the study revealed that fear, trust of information, and resilience were key influences on an individual's ability to suppress suicidal thoughts and insomnia symptoms.

How did the Pandemic Impact Mental Health?

In the analysis, investigators gathered information from online questionnaires between September 2020-May 2021. Psychometrically validated scales were given to a convenience sample of 205 outpatients, 500 healthcare workers, and 1200 individuals from the general population.

The collected data assessed insomnia severity, suicidal thoughts, fear of COVID-19, trust of information, and resilience, in each study population. Investigators then employed multivariate logistic regression methods to identify variables associated with suicidal thoughts and insomnia.

Clinically Meaningful Associations

The general population showed a statistically significant association with insomnia diagnosis and higher rates of suicidal thoughts compared with the other groups. Those with a greater fear of COVID-19 across all populations demonstrated a significant relationship with suicidal thoughts.

Higher resilience among each study group revealed a meaningful association with lower insomnia. Investigators also acknolwedged the relationship between insomnia diagnosis and greater fear of of the virus that was identified in the general population as well as the healthcare workers.

Data indicated suicidal thoughts and lower trust of information in the outpatient population were congruent. In the general population, the relationship between suicidal thoughts and more severe insomnia was significant, while the association between insomnia diagnosis and higher suicidal thoughts showed significance in the general population.

"Trust of information, fear, and resilience were important factors for suppressing suicidal thoughts and insomnia among the three study populations," investigators concluded. "Health policies that monitor psychological status and build resiliency of the public are recommended to help develop tailored strategies for different populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic."

The study "Factors associated with insomnia and suicidal thoughts among outpatients, healthcare workers, and the general population in Taiwan during COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study" was published in BMC Public Health.

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