1Walid Abdul-Hamid‏

1Priory Wellbeing Centre, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


The impact of working with people in healthcare, and helping them with difficult on traumatic experiences,  has long been recognized. The problem that affect medical and nursing professionals as a result of the above has been termed ‘Compassion Fatigue’. This problem was defined by Eric Gentry and colleagues in 2013 as ‘an experience of secondary wounding in caring for trauma survivors that leaves the helper feeling as if they faced the injury on a personal level’. With doctors, nurses and other health practitioners, the burden on health-care systems that is increasing under the pressure of the COVID-19 epidemic is affecting their health and wellbeing. But the mental health of health-care workers is specifically at serious risk.

Material(s) and Method(s):

This is a review of available literature including author’s research and clinical findings of the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of health workers locally and internationally.


A JAMA study examined the mental health of 257 healthcare workers caring for corona patients in 34 hospitals in China. The results are not reassuring. A large proportion of them reported symptoms of depression (50 per cent), anxiety (45 per cent), insomnia (34 per cent) and psychological distress (71.5 per cent). More recent stuidy in UAE suggested that 13% of health professionals in SEHA hospitals suffer from severe psychological impact of COVID Pandemic.


The review suggested that frontline staff should be encouraged to attend to their wellbeing in addition to these professionals also attending to the welfare of each other and that should be within creating a national Healthcare Burnout Presentation Plan.