Hardiness and personal resources of red zone staff: Psychological analysis
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming increasingly important to address the problem of resourcefulness in the healthcare personnel of COVID-19 red zones. The aim of this study was to assess hardiness and the state of vital resources in physicians continuously working in red zones and to test a hypothesis that that long-term work in a COVID-19 red zone adversely affects the resourcefulness, reducing resistance to stress. Group 1 (n = 94) consisted of physicians with a history of employment in a COVID-19 red zone between May 2020 and June 2021; group 2 (n = 77) comprised physicians who were not involved in managing COVID-19 patients. The tests showed that hardiness and its components (commitment, control and challenge) were at high levels in group 2 (59.7%; 67.5%; 61.0%; 20.9%, respectively). The index of resourcefulness (RI; 1.24) reflected the prevalence of personal gains over losses in group 1 over the past year. In this group, there were no sex differences in the results. By contrast, hardiness was significantly reduced in 31.9% of the respondents in group 1 (red zone). Working in the red zone had a devastating effect on all hardiness components: the ratio of the percentages of high to low values was 8.5/27.7 for commitment, 9/6/34.0 for control and 10.6/35.1 for challenge. RI was reduced (0.77). The most pronounced loss of resources was observed in female physicians. The study found a significant mutual impact between challenge and the state of personality resources in red zone staff, which may indicate activation of proactive coping strategies and the acceptance of new professional experience.