86 percent of doctors believe mental health issues, depression will be biggest non-COVID-19 issue from the pandemic

Jan. 28, 2021

One year after the first COVID-19 case in the U.S., Sermo surveyed 3,334 physicians around the world as part of its COVID-19 Real Time Barometer, revealing that 86 percent of doctors around the world believe that mental health issues and depression will be the biggest non-COVID-19 public health issue after the pandemic, reported the company. 

Other areas of concern for the coming year are an increase in violence (34 percent), increase in spousal or child abuse (27 percent), increase in suicides (26 percent) and an increase in opioid abuse (21 percent). 

The study also revealed that the majority of physicians (53 percent) believe the long-term side effects of COVID-19 will be the biggest COVID-related public health issue over the next year. In addition, almost two out of three do not believe or are unsure whether the U.S. and the world will be able to return to normal after the vaccine is rolled out. 

The survey also revealed that 63 percent believe the general public will need an annual vaccine to protect against COVID, while 64 percent said they are very concerned/concerned that a new COVID virus is on the horizon. Of those who participated in the survey, 53 percent believe the next pandemic will arrive in five or more years. 

Study 16 also asked physicians about the biggest lessons learned during the first year of the pandemic, revealing unified beliefs about: 

·        Preparedness -- We needed to be more unified and better coordinate federal and global response to the pandemic

·         Health System Fragility -- Worldwide, healthcare is seen as an area for cost cutting rather than investment, which has resulted in it being easily susceptible to a health crisis

·         Public Education -- We must focus more on educating about the importance of hygiene, prevention and vaccines without devolving into political turmoil 

Physicians surveyed are also concerned about the lessons still to learn about the pandemic, including where the virus originated, how it is transmitted, why certain groups are more at risk of severe infection, what the long-term effects of the virus could be, as well as how long the vaccine will last.

Additional findings from Study 16 include: 

·         73 percent are very concerned/concerned that COVID-19 variants will spread in their region

·         48 percent are concerned that pulmonary compromise will be a significant COVID-19-related public health issue in the coming year; 27 percent are concerned about blood clots and other cardiovascular issues, and 22 percent are concerned about the neurological side effects and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adults (MIS-C, MIS-A)

·         78 percent are concerned about the long-term impact to the world economy; 50 percent believe the long-term impact to the healthcare system will be among the largest hidden consequences of the pandemic 

Sermo has the release. 

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.