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Impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of radiologists

      Keywords

      We read with great interest the article by Dr. Demirjian et al. titled “Impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic on healthcare workers: A nationwide survey of United States radiologists
      • Demirjian N.L.
      • Fields B.K.K.
      • Song C.
      • et al.
      Impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on healthcare workers: a nationwide survey of United States radiologists.
      ” which concluded that the pandemic has had a negative effect in the radiologists' mental health, specially in terms of anxiety, which increases the need of establishing protective measures for this physicians. We want to denote the value of this study because mental health is an issue sometimes forgotten in health care workers, due to the constant search of productivity, profit, and well-being of the patients. It also reminds the scientific community that radiologists are also part of the front line workers, and that therefore they are vulnerable too. In our experience, in a private setting, human resources make a follow-up of the burnout syndrome, by periodical surveys, in all the doctors of the institution, and offer help and assistance to those who need it. Also rewards and recognitions are made to encourage the radiologists’ labor. We agree these little details make the difference.
      However, the study has some limitations. First, the psychological impact of COVID-19 is not just about anxiety, symptoms indicative of depression can also be found, as Florin et al. demonstrated in a similar study in France,
      • Florin M.
      • Pinar U.
      • Chavigny E.
      • et al.
      Socio-economic and psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on private practice and public hospital radiologists.
      and must be addressed too. Moreover, it wasn't specified if medical history of previous psychiatric disorders was taken into account in the survey. The latter is important because it could act as a confounding bias.
      We recognize the study has a large sample, which assures a statistical power, but we propose a more detailed subgroup analysis. For example, a descriptive and differentiating analysis between public and private hospital radiologists would have been useful, since, as exposed in the study of Florin et al.,
      • Florin M.
      • Pinar U.
      • Chavigny E.
      • et al.
      Socio-economic and psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on private practice and public hospital radiologists.
      belonging to the workforce of a public hospital may confer a protective effect. In addition, it would have been interesting for part of the sample to be categorized into sites with high and low numbers of COVID-19 patients in order to evaluate if there is a relationship between this exposure and variables such as level of anxiety, workload, financial impact, among others.

      Declaration of competing interest

      The authors have no interest conflicts.

      References

        • Demirjian N.L.
        • Fields B.K.K.
        • Song C.
        • et al.
        Impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on healthcare workers: a nationwide survey of United States radiologists.
        Clin Imaging [Internet]. 2020; 68 (Available from:): 218-225
        • Florin M.
        • Pinar U.
        • Chavigny E.
        • et al.
        Socio-economic and psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on private practice and public hospital radiologists.
        Eur J Radiol. 2020; 132