A national study was launched this week by Villanova University’s Fitzpatrick College of Nursing looking at the long-term effect of the pandemic of up to 20,000 front-line workers over the next two decades, writes Lisa Gartner for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The front-line workers include nurses, police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers and hospital workers such as receptionists, temperature screeners and custodians.
“We’re very worried about post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Donna S. Havens, dean of the nursing college. “In many respects, some of these people may be very wounded after this experience.”
The use of anti-anxiety medications have surged among adults. Depression rates are up among children.
Peter Kaufmann, associate dean for research and innovation at Villanova’s nursing college, said the study will look at how this trauma manifests mentally and physically over time.
“This particular situation here with the pandemic is actually one of the more extended periods of stress we’ve ever seen in a civilian population,” he said. “We may not understand it for a while, and it will have effects on people’s lives beyond the immediate.”
The Villanova study will also examine the social effects of exposure to COVID-19, including trauma on relationships and families.
Read more about this Villanova study here.
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