During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020, Aaron Breslow, Ph.D., and Vilma Gabbay, M.D., assessed racial and ethnic disparities in stressors and mental health outcomes among 992 healthcare workers in the Bronx, New York. Compared to their white colleagues, Black, Latinx, Asian, and multiracial healthcare workers reported significantly higher exposure to multiple COVID-19 stresses including fear of being sick, redeployment, lack of autonomy at work, and inadequate access to personal protective equipment. Despite their greater exposure to stressors, however, healthcare workers of color had the same or lower prevalence of adverse mental health outcomes compared with their White colleagues—perhaps because they have stronger coping skills or because they are more used to systemic racism and its chronic effects. The findings suggest the presence of racial and ethnic disparities among healthcare that should be addressed through health equity and healthcare policy changes. The study published online on November 9 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
Dr. Breslow is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Einstein and is a faculty member at the PRIME Center for Health Equity as well as the Einstein-CUNY-Rockefeller Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Gabbay is adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Einstein and is a professor at the University of Miami.
Posted on: Monday, November 20, 2023