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Mental health
Healthcare workers are at risk of acute or post-traumatic stress and psychological distress during emerging virus outbreaks
  1. Elaheh Haghgoshayie1,2,
  2. Edris Hasanpoor1
  1. 1 Department of Healthcare Management, Research Center for Evidence-Based Health Management, Maragheh University of Medical Sciences, Maragheh, Iran
  2. 2 Department of Healthcare Management, Clinical Research Development Unit, Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Maragheh University of Medical Sciences, Maragheh, Iran
  1. Correspondence to Dr Edris Hasanpoor, Maragheh University of Medical Sciences, Maragheh 53432, Iran (the Islamic Republic of); edihasanpoor{at}

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Commentary on: Kisely S, Warren N, McMahon L, et al. Occurrence, prevention, and management of the psychological effects of emerging virus outbreaks on healthcare workers: rapid review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2020;369:m1642. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1642.

Implications for practice and research

  • Adequate personal protective equipment, clear communication, education and access to psychological support need to be provided in order to improve the well-being of staff during virus outbreaks.

  • Primary research is required specifically on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare professionals’ well-being, and which interventions offer the greatest level of support.


Viral diseases represent a serious threat to public health, with novel viruses continuing to emerge. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic which took hold during 20201 2 there have also been recent outbreaks of new influenza strains such as H1N1 that emerged in North America in 2009, a novel virus of avian origin (H7N9) 4 years later in …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.