Aim: To evaluate differences between insomnia condition and flexibility attitude to eating in Italian nurses directly involved in the care of patients affected by Covid-19 according to sex, Body Mass Index, shift working condition and incidence of new Covid-19 cases in the region of participants. Moreover, any correlations between the insomnia condition and the flexible attitude to eat have been investigated.
Methods: An online questionnaire was administered in October 2020, including the socio-demographic section, the insomnia condition assessment, and the behavioral flexibility evaluation to develop an eating disorder.
Results: 341 Italian nurses answered the questionnaire. Regarding the insomnia condition levels, nurses belonging to regions with a higher incidence rate of the Covid-19 pandemic recorded higher levels of insomnia than others (p=.004). Females and nurses belonging to areas with lower Covid-19 incidence rate recorded a significantly higher total eating flexibility attitude (p=.003; p<.001), also, in the Food and Exercise flexibility (p=.007; p<.001). As regards the flexible attitude for weight and shape, significant differences were recorded among nurses according to their BMI values (p<.001) and to their incidence rate of the belonging region (p<.001). The insomnia condition levels significantly correlated with the eat flexibility attitude both in its total score (p=.010), in the general score (p=.010), and the weight and shape score (p<.001). All correlations between the insomnia conditions and the flexibility to eat were significantly inverse except for the food and exercise dimension. All the eat flexibility sub-dimensions significantly correlated among them (p<.001).
Conclusion: There was a direct correlation among socio-demographic factors, BMI values, insomnia, and behavioral flexibility scores in Italian nurses. So, it could be assumed that the nursing profession is at risk of developing a metabolic syndrome condition. Therefore, it could be considered a psychoendocrinological employment disease during the Covid-19 outbreak.