Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on the mental health of medical professionals

  • Leticia Miná de Britto Cavalcanti University Center of Patos
  • Débora Oliveira dos Santos University Center of Patos
  • Gita Linhares Farias University Center of Patos
  • Caroline Silva Mangueira Maciel University Center of Patos
  • Hirisleide Bezerra Alves University Center of Patos
Keywords: Mental Health; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Pandemic.


INTRODUCTION: The new SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, due to the high potential for dissemination and pathogenicity, causes increasing social pressure on the health of professionals, especially those on the front line. The exercise of the medical profession in the pandemic period, associated with changes in work routine and personal life, affects both the mental health and social life of these professionals at different levels of severity and intensity. AIM To present the main impact on the social life and mental health of medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic period. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic review based on articles published in journals indexed in the PUBMED and Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (BVS) databases from 2015 to 2020. We used the following keywords: “Professional practice”, “Doctor”, “Risk”, and "Fear". Among the 20 articles found, we selected 12 based on the following inclusion criteria: articles in Portuguese and English in their full version. RESULTS: Studies have shown an increase in the incidence of mental and psychosocial disorders in medical professionals, especially those who are in direct contact with people infected with SARS-CoV-2. Faced with this situation, medical professionals present high levels of anxiety, stress, exhaustion, irritability, low concentration, depression, and insomnia. Risk factors capable of having a greater impact on the health and well-being of these professionals include direct exposure to risk, absence/scarcity of PPE, work overload, numbers of infected people in the team, misinformation and changes in protocols, fear of contracting the virus and infect family members, and the need for family isolation. These professionals value responsibility for life; however, they suffer directly from the negative effects of the pandemic. CONCLUSION: Constant exposure to SARS-CoV-2 by health professionals, especially doctors, presents a negative impact on the health and social relationships of the professionals at the forefront of combating COVID-19. We highlight the need for adjustments in hospital facilities, an adequate amount of PPE, and a period of non-excessive work as essential ways to guarantee the work of medical professionals with minimum risks, preserving their physical and mental health.

How to Cite
Cavalcanti, L., dos Santos, D., Farias, G., Maciel, C., & Alves, H. (2021). Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on the mental health of medical professionals. Acta Scientiae Anatomica, 1(Suppl 2), 45-46. Retrieved from