Publications by authors named "Antonella Vacca"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Effect of the Pandemic on the Care of Patients with Mental Disorders: Measure of "Compassion Fatigue" and "Burn-Out" in the Operator.

Psychiatr Danub 2021 Sep;33(Suppl 9):114-118

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center "Don Tonino Bello"- Assoc. M.I.T.A.G. - Onlus, Via Venezia, 1, 72019 San Vito dei Normanni, Brindisi, Italy,

Background: The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on psychophysical well-being and the ability to work productively in contexts concerning people's physical and mental care. The helping professions involved have seen an increase in stress levels, a sense of helplessness, fear, pain and social isolation. They are anchored to the hope of being able to return to their normality.

Method: In this study, 87 mental health operators were evaluated, divided into nurses, psychiatric rehabilitation technicians, educators, social workers, psychologists and doctors, working in two psychiatric care rehabilitation communities in Puglia and Campania in southern Italy.

Results: The results obtained with the administration of the scales ProQOL, BHS, Save-9, BDI-II, BEES reported a remarkable impact in nursing and medical professions due to the pandemic. A 11%. burn-out was reported by nurses.

Conclusions: The collected data are comparable to the previous work (Franza et al. 2015, 2020); however, there is no evidence of a high level of burnout in the helping professions involved in this study.
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September 2021

The Emotional Impact of the Operator in the Care of Patients With Mental Disorders during the Pandemic: Measure of Interventions on Compassion Fatigue and Burn-Out.

Psychiatr Danub 2021 Sep;33(Suppl 9):108-113

Mental Health Department, ASL TA, Via Piemonte, 51, 72022 Latiano, Italy,

Background: The continuation of the health emergency due to the management of COVID-19 is having a profound effect on all aspects of society, including mental health and physical health. This observational study examined practitioners of psychiatric rehabilitation and therapeutic communities, focusing on the emotional aspects of patient care, in particular the fatigue of compassion, empathy and lack of hope, aspects that could be directly linked to the burnout of health professionals, as found in other similar studies.

Method: In this study, self-administered scale data was collected in 87 healthcare professionals recruited from 3 different psychiatric rehabilitation communities. In particular, we assessed the fatigue of compassion, vicarious trauma, burnout and hope (hopeless), empathy and depressive symptoms in the two months of May and June 2021.

Results: The results obtained after the administration of the following rating scales, ProQOL, BHS, SAVE-9, BDI-II and BEES, showed an overall increase in scores in all professional figures, a significant fatigue of compassion, while the percentage burnout is not present in several groups. The presence of high levels of hope, satisfaction of compassion is indicative of a moderate level of empathy in some professional figures; these high levels can protect workers from the risk of developing work-related stress and depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: The data obtained with this study are not similar to those of previous studies, although they may indicate the importance of factors such as hope, empathy in the care of the patient with psychic disorders in rehabilitation communities, underlining the need for interventions aimed at the emotional management of the care relationship as a tool to improve care and prevent burnout even during times of high stress, such as managing a pandemic.
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September 2021

A New Rating Scale (SAVE-9) to Demonstrate the Stress and Anxiety in the Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Viral Epidemic.

Psychiatr Danub 2020 Sep;32(Suppl 1):5-9

Psychiatric Studies Center (Cen.Stu.Psi.), Piazza Portici, 11 - 25050 Provaglio d'Iseo (BS), Italy,

The COVID-19 epidemic has been a major global public health problem during past months in Italy and in several other Countries and on the date of publication of this article, is still a serious public health problem. The health staff, engaged in the care of the sick and in the prevention of the spread of the infection have been subjected to a further increase in psychological difficulties and work-related stress, related to the workload for the continuous influx of sick and intense and close working shifts for the viral emergency. The SAVE-9 (Stress and Anxiety to Viral Epidemics - 9 items) scale has been developed as a tool for assessing work anxiety and stress in response to the viral epidemic of health professionals working to prevent the spread of the virus and to treat infected people.
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September 2020

100 years of high GEM concentration in the Central Italian Herbarium and Tropical Herbarium Studies Centre (Florence, Italy).

J Environ Sci (China) 2020 Jan 22;87:377-388. Epub 2019 Jul 22.

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, Via G. La Pira, 4-50121 Florence, Italy; CNR - Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, Via G. La Pira, 4-50121 Florence, Italy.

Up to 1980s, the most used preservative for herbaria specimens was HgCl, sublimating at ambient air conditions; ionic Hg then reduces to Hg (gaseous elemental mercury, GEM) and diffuses throughout poor ventilated environments. High GEM levels may indeed persist for decades, representing a health hazard. In this study, we present new GEM data from the Central Italian Herbarium and Tropical Herbarium Studies Centre of the University of Florence (Italy). These herbaria host one of the largest collection of plants in the world. Here, HgCl was documented as plant preservative up to the 1920s. GEM surveys were conducted in July 2013 and July and December 2017, to account for temporal and seasonal variations. Herbaria show GEM concentrations well above those of external locations, with peak levels within specimen storage cabinets, exceeding 50,000 ng/m. GEM concentrations up to ~7800 ng/m were observed where the most ancient collections are stored and no ventilation systems were active. On the contrary, lower GEM concentrations were observed at the first floor. Here, lower and more homogeneously distributed GEM concentrations were measured in 2017 than in 2013 since the air-conditioning system was updated in early 2017. GEM concentrations were similar to other herbaria worldwide and lower than Italian permissible exposure limit of 20,000 ng/m (8-hr working day). Our results indicate that after a century from the latest HgCl treatment GEM concentrations are still high, i.e., the treatment itself is almost irreversible. Air conditioning and renewing is probably the less expensive and more effective method for GEM lowering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2019.07.007DOI Listing
January 2020

Identification and evaluation of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia using "Machine learning".

Psychiatr Danub 2019 Sep;31(Suppl 3):261-264

Città Solidale Società Cooperativa Sociale, Via Anania Lamarina, 75, 72022 Latiano (BR), Italy,

Background: Schizophrenia can be interpreted as a pathology involving the neocortex whose cognitive dysfunctions represent a central and persistent characteristic of the disease, as well as one of the more important symptoms in relation to the impairment of psychosocial functioning and the resulting disabilities. Given the implication of cognitive functions in everyday life, they can better predict the degree of schizophrenia. The study proposes to use Machine Learning techniques to identify the specific cognitive deficits of schizophrenia that mostly characterize the disorder, as well as to develop a predictive system that can diagnose the presence of schizophrenia based on neurocognitive tests.

Background: The study employs a dataset of neurocognitive assessments carried out on 201 people (86 schizophrenic patients and 115 healthy patients) recruited by the Neuroscience Group of the University of Bari "A. Moro". A data analysis process has been carried out, with the aim of selecting the most relevant features as well as to prepare data for training a number of "off-the-shelf" machine learning methods (Decision Tree, Random Forest, Logistic Regression, k-Nearest Neighbor, Neural Network, Support Vector Machine), which have been evaluated in terms of classification accuracy according to stratified 20-fold cross-validation.

Results: Among all variables, 14 were selected as the most influential for the classification problem. The variables with greater influence are related to working memory, executive functions, attention, verbal fluency, memory. The best algorithms turned out to be Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Neural Network, showing an accuracy of 87.8% and 84.8% on a test set.

Conclusions: Machine Learning provides "cheap" and non-invasive methods that potentially enable early intervention with specific rehabilitation interventions. The results suggest the need to integrate a thorough neuropsychological evaluation into the more general diagnostic evaluation of patients with schizophrenia disorder.
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September 2019

Mental Illness and Prejudices in Psychiatric Professionals. Data from the Social Stigma Questionnaire for Psychiatric Professionals: A Multicentre Study.

Psychiatr Danub 2018 Nov;30(Suppl 7):479-484

DSM ASL NA 3 SUD, "Centro Diurno" of Mental Health 57, via Marconi 66, 80059 Torre del Greco (NA), Italy,

The prejudices about mental illness and the related social stigma are still present in the population. People suffer from both the disease and the marginalization behaviors implemented by the "so-called healthy" towards them and their relatives. Even psychiatric professionals can get sick and suffer for the same reason. The authors of this multicentric study have focused their attention on the presence or absence of groups of psychiatric pathologies among the "insiders". The most frequent pathologies encountered were the mood and anxiety disorders, in a percentage similar to that of the general population. To continue the research on the stigma begun in a previous study, the authors asked themselves if there could be prejudices and/or stigma among psychiatric professionals towards sick colleagues, how they relate in the workplace and how they react to the behavior of colleagues. The stigma questionnaire has been used on psychiatric professionals, and 130 Italian colleagues were tested in the provinces of Avellino, Brindisi and Trento. The data were compared with those of the research on the stigma "Thinking of Psychiatric Disorders as" Normal "Illness" (Tavormina et al. 2016) and it emerged that among the attending professionals there are no statistically significant behaviors of marginalization, exclusion or stigma against sick colleagues, even if there is a certain discomfort in working together. Above all, it emerged that 80% of the interviewees, who have had work experience with sick colleagues, have replied that the latter can treat those who are also sick of their own disease, thus showing esteem and confidence in their work, in analogy with the Jungian thesis of the "wounded Healer" in the myth of the centaur Chiron.
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November 2018
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