Psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on nurses and coping strategies: a systematic review

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Background: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, nurses struggle to balance emotional and psychological well-being with their professional duties and the risk of contracting COVID-19, this situation requires nurses to use coping strategies in. The objective of this review was to explore and describe the psychological impact that occurs on nurses and the types of coping strategies used by nurses in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guideline was used in this systematic review, with the last search conducted on the 31st of December 2022. Four online databases that were used to search for the relevant literature, there are Scopus, ScienceDirect, PubMed and SAGE published between January 2020 to December 2022. The eligibility criteria for the review include studies in English, nurse participation, and explaining psychological impact and coping strategies. Articles that met the inclusion criteria were independently assessed by three reviewers for methodological validity prior to inclusion in the review using The Joanna Briggs Institute’s (JBI) Critical Assessment Checklist for several types of correlational and qualitative studies. Results: A total of 23 studies were included, with 17 using quantitative methodology and 6 were qualitative. The studies were conducted across various countries with a total of 14,588 nurses participating in the study. The psychological impact experienced by nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic is feeling fear, increased anxiety, anxiety, stress, and depression. Nurses have used coping strategies by reducing negative pressure and increasing coping resources by using a positive attitude towards stressful situations, using psychological consulting services, strengthening social support, implementing strict health protocols, exercising/physical activity and attending training. Conclusions: This review can inform current and future research priorities in the psychological impact nurses in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic situation has had a negative psychological impact on nurses. Appropriate and effective positive coping strategies can maintain the mental health and quality of life of nurses. Limitations of this review include selection bias, small sample size, and the cross-sectional and qualitative study designs, which could not establish a causal relationship and cannot be generalized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalJournal of Public Health and Emergency
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2023


  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • coping strategies
  • health care
  • nurse
  • psychological wellbeing


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