Anxiety and burnout in anesthetists and intensive care unit nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study


Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology




Abstract Background: This study aimed to measure the levels of anxiety and burnout among healthcare workers, including attending physicians, residents, and nurses in intensive care units during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey analysis of healthcare workers in our institution. Data were collected on demographic variables, COVID-19 symptoms and test, disease status, anxiety level (assessed by the Beck Anxiety Inventory), and burnout level (measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory). Subscales of the burnout inventory were evaluated separately. Results: A total of 104 participants completed the survey. Attending physicians, residents, and nurses constituted 25%, 33.7%, and 41.3% of the cohort, respectively. In comparison to untested participants, those tested for COVID-19 had a lower mean age (p = 0.02), higher emotional exhaustion and depersonalization scores (p = 0.001, 0.004, respectively), and lower personal accomplishment scores (p = 0.004). Furthermore, moderate to severe anxiety was observed more frequently in tested participants than untested ones (p = 0.022). Moderate or severe anxiety was seen in 23.1% of the attending physicians, 54.3% of the residents, and 48.8% of the nurses (p = 0.038). Emotional exhaustion, personal accomplishment, and depersonalization scores differed depending on the position of the healthcare workers (p = 0.034, 0.001, 0.004, respectively). Conclusion: This study revealed higher levels of anxiety and burnout in younger healthcare workers and those tested for COVID-19, which mainly included residents and nurses. The reasons for these observations should be further investigated to protect their mental health.

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