Review

The mental health of laboratory and rehabilitation specialists during COVID-19: A rapid review

  • Received: 26 October 2022 Revised: 22 January 2023 Accepted: 01 February 2023 Published: 17 February 2023
  • Backgrounds

    Healthcare workers have experienced considerable stress and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these healthcare workers are medical laboratory professionals and rehabilitation specialists, specifically, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, who all perform critical services for the functioning of a healthcare system.

    Purpose

    This rapid review examined the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of medical laboratory professionals (MLPs), occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) and identified gaps in the research necessary to understand the impact of the pandemic on these healthcare workers.

    Methods

    We systematically searched “mental health” among MLPs, OTs and PTs using three databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and CINAHL).

    Results

    Our search yielded 8887 articles, 16 of which met our criteria. Our results revealed poor mental health among all occupational groups, including burnout, depression, and anxiety. Notably, MLPs reported feeling forgotten and unappreciated compared to other healthcare groups. In general, there is a dearth of literature on the mental health of these occupational groups before and during the pandemic; therefore, unique stressors are not yet uncovered.

    Conclusions

    Our results highlight poor mental health outcomes for these occupational groups despite the dearth of research. In addition to more research among these groups, we recommend that policymakers focus on improving workplace cultures and embed more intrinsic incentives to improve job retention and reduce staff shortage. In future emergencies, providing timely and accurate health information to healthcare workers is imperative, which could also help reduce poor mental health outcomes.

    Citation: Liam Ishaky, Myuri Sivanthan, Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia, Andrew Papadopoulos, Basem Gohar. The mental health of laboratory and rehabilitation specialists during COVID-19: A rapid review[J]. AIMS Public Health, 2023, 10(1): 63-77. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2023006

    Related Papers:

  • Backgrounds

    Healthcare workers have experienced considerable stress and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these healthcare workers are medical laboratory professionals and rehabilitation specialists, specifically, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, who all perform critical services for the functioning of a healthcare system.

    Purpose

    This rapid review examined the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of medical laboratory professionals (MLPs), occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) and identified gaps in the research necessary to understand the impact of the pandemic on these healthcare workers.

    Methods

    We systematically searched “mental health” among MLPs, OTs and PTs using three databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and CINAHL).

    Results

    Our search yielded 8887 articles, 16 of which met our criteria. Our results revealed poor mental health among all occupational groups, including burnout, depression, and anxiety. Notably, MLPs reported feeling forgotten and unappreciated compared to other healthcare groups. In general, there is a dearth of literature on the mental health of these occupational groups before and during the pandemic; therefore, unique stressors are not yet uncovered.

    Conclusions

    Our results highlight poor mental health outcomes for these occupational groups despite the dearth of research. In addition to more research among these groups, we recommend that policymakers focus on improving workplace cultures and embed more intrinsic incentives to improve job retention and reduce staff shortage. In future emergencies, providing timely and accurate health information to healthcare workers is imperative, which could also help reduce poor mental health outcomes.



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    Acknowledgments



    We want to thank librarian Melanie Cassidy (University of Guelph) for her contributions to developing our search strategy for this rapid review. We would also like to acknowledge MLPs, OTs, and PTs for their work and sacrifice during the pandemic. This study was funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR: EG7-179466).

    Conflict of interest



    The authors have no conflicts of interest.

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