COVID Linked to Mental Health Visits Increase in Canada
The pandemic has had an impact on the mental health of people worldwide, especially on their mental health. It increased cases of anxiety disorders by 76 million and major depressive disorder by 53 million globally. But how has the situation affected the mental health of those working on the front lines of the pandemic, such as healthcare workers?
A team of researchers from the University of Ottawa Department of Family Medicine and The Ottawa Hospital in Canada is helping answer that question with a new study that has found a link between the pandemic and increased mental health visits during the pandemic. The study looked at data from 34,055 physicians, fellows, and residents registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario between 1990 and 2018. It found that healthcare workers made 26% more mental health visits during the pandemic than the year before.
They found that anxiety was the most common reason for mental health visits in the first year of the pandemic and the year before. The frequency rose from 66.5% to 69.1%. However, drug and alcohol abuse-related visits declined slightly. They went from 7.4% in the pre-pandemic period to 5.8% during the first year of COVID-19. The study also found that female healthcare workers and medical professionals had a larger percentage of mental health visits. When it comes to physician specialists, psychiatrists had the larger percentage of mental health visits, while surgeons had the lowest.
Studies like this are essential for understanding the long-term changes in mental health visits and predictors of mental health care so that healthcare workers’ mental health needs can be met.
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