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The mental health of community health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed methods study

Grant number: 22/02258-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): June 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Public Health
Principal Investigator:Andréa Tenório Correia da Silva
Grantee:Jamili Joana de Melo Calixto
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Jundiaí (FMJ). Prefeitura Municipal de Jundiaí. Jundiaí , SP, Brazil


Introduction: The community health workers (CHWs) play a key role in health care on the primary health care sector (PHC), specially on the scenario faced with COVID-19 pandemic. Since they were the link between the PHC and the assisted population, the CHW's carried out an active search for positive cases of Covid, provided guidance and clarification on measures to avoid the spread of the virus, contributed to the redefinition of assistance flows to the community, in the elaboration social distancing strategies in vulnerable populations, active search of the population to vaccinate, combating fake news about COVID-19 and about the vaccination. Due to this scenario, the CHWs were exposed to new stressors at work, which may have had an impact on their mental health. Objective: (1) to estimate the occurrence of common mental disorders in CHWs during the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) investigate the associations between work factors in the pandemic and common mental disorders; and (3) analyze the perceptions of CHWs on aspects of work during the pandemic and the impact on mental health. Method: mixed method research of the explanatory sequential type. Initially, the quantitative stage will be carried out, the specific results will be selected and then they will be investigated in the qualitative stage. For the quantitative stage, baseline and phase 2 data (12 months after baseline) of the longitudinal study "The COVID-19 Healthcare Workers: HEROES study" in the city of São Paulo will be analyzed. Expected results: our results could contribute to the elaboration of actions that could reduce the mental suffering of CHWs in contexts of health crisis and, thus, mitigate their repercussions.

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