The psychological experience of medical rescuers during the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Sílvia Monteiro Fonseca Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto
  • Sónia Cunha Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica, Instituto Público
  • Márcio Silva Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica, Instituto Público
  • M. Joaquina Ramos Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica, Instituto Público
  • Guilherme Azevedo Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica, Instituto Público
  • Rui Campos Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica, Instituto Público
  • Sara Faria Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto
  • Cristina Queirós Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto



COVID-19 pandemic, medical rescuers, psychological experience, mental health


Medical rescuers are the frontline for COVID-19 and their psychological experience and health are major concerns to our society and healthcare system. This study aims to understand how medical rescuers psychologically experienced this pandemic and explore the contributing variables to COVID-19 anxiety. Portuguese medical rescuers (n = 203) answered questions about their COVID-19 experience, the COVID-19 Anxiety Scale, Patient-Health Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Scale, Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory, and Well-Being Questionnaire. Rescuers presented low COVID-19 anxiety and low-moderate levels of fear. Most already faced or were facing changes in their job-related tasks, did not change household and did not feel stigma/discrimination. COVID-19 workplace security measures were considered moderately adequate and low anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, low to moderate stress and moderate well-being were found. Only COVID-19 fear and security measures, anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive symptoms explained COVID-19 anxiety. Overall, findings showed these rescuers were psychologically well adjusted during the pandemic’s initial stages.


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Como Citar

Fonseca, S. M., Cunha, S., Silva, M., Ramos, M. J., Azevedo, G., Campos, R., Faria, S., & Queirós, C. (2023). The psychological experience of medical rescuers during the COVID-19 pandemic. PSICOLOGIA, 37(1), 1–11.