The Role of Psychological Distress and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation in Predicting Post-Traumatic Stress Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD in Health Psychology, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran.

3 M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Payame Noor University, South Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 M.A of Clinical Psychology of Children and Adolescents, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

5 Professor, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses experienced a variety of psychological traumas due to their close encounters with patients. In this regard, the present study aimed to investigate the role of psychological distress and difficulty in emotion regulation in predicting post-traumatic stress in nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Materials and Methods: The method of the present study is descriptive and correlational. The statistical population of the study consists of male and female nurses of medical services centers in the fifth and sixth districts of Tehran in 2021. A sample of 300 nurses was selected by convenience sampling method and then the data were collected using questionnaires of post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological distress and difficulty in emotion regulation.

Results: The results showed a significant positive correlation between post-traumatic stress and depression, anxiety, stress, rejection of emotional responses, difficulty in controlling impulse, lack of emotional awareness, difficulty in performing purposeful behavior, limited access to emotional regulation strategies and there was no emotional state (P<0.01). The results of multiple regression analysis also showed that psychological distress and difficulty in regulating emotion predict 75% of post-traumatic stress in nurses.

Conclusion: The results indicate a significant correlation between psychological distress and difficulty in regulating emotion with post-traumatic stress disorder in nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the fact that nurses have been infected with this deadly virus since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and have experienced a lot of stress, it is necessary to take measures to increase the mental health of nurses.