Exploring the psychological effects of sharps injuries sustained by healthcare workers
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Much of the research into sharps injuries sustained by healthcare workers focuses on prevalence and incidence and to a lesser extent the financial implications of such injuries. An under-researched area is the psychological effects of such injuries. This article reports the findings of a narrative literature review that aimed to synthesise the evidence on this subject. Electronic databases and the grey literature were searched with no date limits set and 27 articles were included in the review. Findings suggested that healthcare workers may experience a range of psychological issues following a sharps injury, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. There was also evidence to suggest that the necessary psychological follow-up care is often inadequate, so improvements are required in this area. Further research is necessary to enhance understanding of the psychological effects of sharps injuries on healthcare workers and to ensure they receive appropriate support.
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