Employees face high risk of pre-traumatic stress syndrome - research
Afriforte MD Professor Ina Rothmann said the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an anxiety condition which 46% of employees were at high risk of experiencing.
CAPE TOWN - Almost half of South African employees are experiencing high levels of concern about the future, particularly entry-level employees, according to new research on the mental health of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers presented their findings at a briefing hosted by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag).
Afriforte and the Workwell Research Unit developed a tool to assess the COVID-19 experiences of 1,656 employees over one month.
Afriforte managing director Professor Ina Rothmann said the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an anxiety condition which 46% of employees were at high risk of experiencing.
"Pre-traumatic stress syndrome is a syndrome involving involuntary intrusive images and flash-forwards of haunting events that could be experienced because of a major disruption," said Rothmann.
The research shows that 28% of employees were experiencing constant high levels of both psychological and physical distress - with more women than men experiencing physical suffering.
The study shows 49% of employees were highly concerned about the future.
The top three concerns were the country's economy, childcare and schooling, in addition to family health and wellbeing.
Concern levels were slightly higher for those between 20 and 39 years old - this group was more worried about future career possibilities compared to others.
Rothmann said hope was a mitigating factor for the development of pre-traumatic stress disorder.