Telework during COVID-19 outbreak: Impact on mental health among Italian workers

Vincenzo Bertino, Veronica Nisticò, Armando D'Agostino, Alberto Priori, Orsola Gambini, Benedetta Demartini


Objective: The outbreak of COVID-19 lead to an uptake of telework worldwide. We evaluated the prevalence of psychiatric symptoms, potential risks, and protective factors, across a sample of Italian workers that converted to teleworking.

Methods: 804 participants completed an online survey, including sociodemographic information (current work routine, home environment and clinical history) and the psychometric scales “Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale – 21 items” and “Insomnia Severity Index.”

Results: 30% of participants presented pathological levels of depression, 20.8% of anxiety, 30.7% of stress, and 5% appeared to suffer from insomnia. Prevalence was higher in respondents with psychological and physical frailties, greater social isolation or inadequate working spaces. However, telework itself was broadly appreciated and did not seem to be directly associated with increased psychiatric symptoms, which were exacerbated instead by COVID-19-related stress or by constitutional and social determinants of health.

Conclusions: Authorities should promote adequate measures to guarantee a healthy approach to teleworking.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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