Investigation of mental health among hospital workers in the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study


Sao Paulo Med. J.




ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The rapid spread of the COVID-19 epidemic has led to extraordinary measures taken worldwide, and has led to serious psychological disorders. Healthcare professionals face greater severity of stress burden, due both to their direct contact with patients with the virus and to the isolation dimension of this outbreak. OBJECTIVE: To examine psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and sleep disorders among healthcare professionals working in an emergency department and a COVID-19 clinic. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study including healthcare professionals in the emergency department and other units serving patients with COVID-19, of a training and research hospital in Turkey. METHODS: 210 volunteers, including 105 healthcare professionals in the emergency department and 105 healthcare professionals working in other departments rendering services for COVID-19 patients, were included in this study. A sociodemographic data form and the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HAD), Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), World Health Organization Quality of Life scale (WHOQOL-BREF-TR) and Religious Orientation Scale were applied to the volunteers. RESULTS: The perceived stress levels and PSQI subscores were found to be significantly higher among the volunteers working in the emergency department than among those in other departments. The risk of development of anxiety among women was 16.6 times higher than among men. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare professionals on the frontline need systematic regular psychosocial support mechanisms. Anxiety due to fear of infecting family members can be prevented through precautions such as isolation. However, it should be remembered that loneliness and feelings of missing family members consequent to isolation may increase the risk of depression.

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