Research Article - Allied Journal of Medical Research (2020) Volume 4, Issue 2
Impact of the covid-19 pandemic on health care workersâ?? mental health: A cross-sectional study.
The background: Since the onset of the current outbreak of COVID-19 infection among humans in Wuhan (China) and it’s spreading around the globe causing heavy impacts on global and mental health. Healthcare workers (HCW) and professionals now work in stressful environments both physically and mentally. Hence, addressing the mental health wellbeing of medical workers is important for better prevention and control of the pandemic.
Aim: To assess the magnitude of mental health problems namely anxiety and depression among HCW during COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East region mainly and different countries around the globe.
Design: An online survey was designed to screen for anxiety using the “GAD-7 score” while depression was screened for using the “PHQ-2 score” among HCW involved in the care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Results: Analysis of participants' responses showed that 23.6% of the study sample have a moderate- to-severe grade of anxiety (n=368) while 27.4% show depression (n=426). A comparison of anxiety and depression scores among the participants shows a significant difference in GAD-7 (p=0.001) and PHQ-2 (p<0.001) scores based on their job. GAD-7 scores were higher among nurses in comparison to physicians (p=0.002). Dentists have higher PHQ-2 scores as compared to physicians (p=0.015), nurses (p<0.001) and other non-medical HCW (p<0.001) while physicians have higher PHQ-2 scores in comparison to nurses (p=0.05) and other HCW (p<0.001). We also found that moderate to severe anxiety is affected by age (p=0.024) and sex (p=0.001) being higher at females at a younger age. Being a nurse (p<0.001 ) practicing in a region outside the Middle East (p=0.001) was also associated with having moderate to severe anxiety. As for depression, it is affected by age (p<0.001) and sex (p=0.023). Being a young female is associated with having depression. Depression is also related to the job (p=0.011) and the region of residence (p=0.001) being higher in the Middle East region. HCW who spend their leisure time studying or involved in research have a higher prevalence of depression compared to those involved in other activities (p=0.005). About 71% of participants who have depression and/or moderate to severe anxiety (n=369) agree or strongly agree that those changes they experience are related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic affects the mental well-being of HCW in the Middle East region at almost a comparable extent to other HCW all over the globe. Age, sex, job, and activities at leisure time largely affect the mental well-being of HCW.Author(s): Ahmed Aoun, Yassmeen Abdel Rahman, Rahma Nawras Maher Mostafa, Islam Kassem, Mai Badrah, Shady Ahmed Moussa