Changes in the diagnosis of depression among nursing professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study.
To identify changes in mental health status among nursing professionals in a Brazilian municipality during the COVID-19 pandemic. An observational and longitudinal study. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, the presence of depressive symptoms was evaluated among 690 nursing professionals in the city of Pelotas, Brazil, at two moments: June/July 2020 and June/July 2021. 13.0% incidence of depressive symptoms was identified; as well as 12.2% remission; 24.1% persistence and 50.7% absence. Among the factors associated with the worst prognoses we can mention female gender, greater workload, feeling of overload, illness of family members or friends due to COVID-19 and use of psychotropic drugs CONCLUSIONS: There was significant mobility in the diagnosis of depression among the professionals studied during the period analysed, with incidence of new cases of significant depression and greater than the number of remissions. In addition to sociodemographic aspects, traumatic experiences and exposure to continuous overload were associated with persistence and incidence of new cases. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, several studies have shown an increase in depressive symptoms among nursing professionals; however, understanding the long-term effects of this scenario is still a challenge. What problem did the study address? This study investigates changes in the mental health status of nursing professionals working at different care levels, taking the prevalence of screening for depression as a proxy, during a period of a year during the COVID-19 pandemic. What were the main findings? Between both data collection moments, 2020 e 2021, there was a significant percentage of professionals with persistent depression, in addition to a significant proportion of incident cases that slightly exceeded the number of remissions and the factors associated with the worst prognoses were sociodemographic aspects such as gender and emotional stressors like illness of family members or close friends due to COVID-19, in addition to those related to the organisation and support provided by the services, such as workload and feeling of overload. Where and on whom will the research have an impact? This study will impact the nursing professionals and in role of the health services in order to establishing actions that contribute to minimising the deleterious effects of the pandemic on the mental health of their Nursing teams. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines were adopted in this study. No Patient or Public Contribution.