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Article

Social Support and Optimism as Protective Factors for Mental Health among 7765 Healthcare Workers in Germany during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of the VOICE Study

1
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), 91054 Erlangen, Germany
2
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Clinic of Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany
3
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Ulm University Medical Center, 89081 Ulm, Germany
4
Department of Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University of Cologne, Medical Faculty and University Hospital, 50931 Cologne, Germany
5
Department of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The present work was performed in fulfillment of the requirements for obtaining the degree “Dr. rer. biol. hum”.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3827; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073827
Received: 30 January 2021 / Revised: 26 March 2021 / Accepted: 30 March 2021 / Published: 6 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting mental health worldwide, particularly among healthcare workers (HCWs). Risk and protective factors for depression and generalized anxiety in healthcare workers need to be identified to protect their health and ability to work. Social support and optimism are known protective psychosocial resources, but have not been adequately studied in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic among healthcare workers in Germany. Methods: Within the first wave of the VOICE study (n = 7765), a longitudinal web-based survey study among healthcare workers in Germany, we assessed symptoms of depression (PHQ-2) and generalized anxiety (GAD-2), social support (ENRICHD Social Support Inventory; ESSI), and generalized optimism as well as sociodemographic, occupational, and COVID-19 related variables. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between the constructs. Results: The analyses revealed that higher levels of social support and optimism were associated with lower levels of depression and generalized anxiety. They showed a higher association with depression and generalized anxiety than demographic or occupational risk factors such as female gender and direct contact with infected individuals. Conclusion: Psychosocial resources such as social support and optimism appear to contribute to successful coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and should be considered in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; anxiety; depression; healthcare; mental health; resources; social support; optimism COVID-19; anxiety; depression; healthcare; mental health; resources; social support; optimism
MDPI and ACS Style

Schug, C.; Morawa, E.; Geiser, F.; Hiebel, N.; Beschoner, P.; Jerg-Bretzke, L.; Albus, C.; Weidner, K.; Steudte-Schmiedgen, S.; Borho, A.; Lieb, M.; Erim, Y. Social Support and Optimism as Protective Factors for Mental Health among 7765 Healthcare Workers in Germany during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of the VOICE Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3827. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073827

AMA Style

Schug C, Morawa E, Geiser F, Hiebel N, Beschoner P, Jerg-Bretzke L, Albus C, Weidner K, Steudte-Schmiedgen S, Borho A, Lieb M, Erim Y. Social Support and Optimism as Protective Factors for Mental Health among 7765 Healthcare Workers in Germany during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of the VOICE Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(7):3827. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073827

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schug, Caterina, Eva Morawa, Franziska Geiser, Nina Hiebel, Petra Beschoner, Lucia Jerg-Bretzke, Christian Albus, Kerstin Weidner, Susann Steudte-Schmiedgen, Andrea Borho, Marietta Lieb, and Yesim Erim. 2021. "Social Support and Optimism as Protective Factors for Mental Health among 7765 Healthcare Workers in Germany during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of the VOICE Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 7: 3827. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073827

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