Levels of Anxiety and Depression amongst the Frontline Healthcare Workers of COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Survey with Follow-Up

Author(s): Iftekhar Ahmed, Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Sadia Iqbal, Salma Salman, Maira Hassan, Uzma Rasheed, Mohammed Akram, Muhammad Saleem, Ibraj Fatima, Marium Batool Abbas

Purpose of the study: Outbreaks of infectious diseases are known to have significant psychological effects not only on the general population but on health care workers as well. The COVID-19 pandemic also has been a challenge for Healthcare workers across the globe when it comes to their mental health.

Study design: This is an observational cross-sectional study, carried out amongst the frontline doctors of COVID-19 units, by a well-structured questionnaire using Google Forms. The two scales used measure anxiety and depression among the healthcare workers were the Hamilton anxiety scale (HAM-A), and the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS).

 Results: The mean age of all the participants in the study was 25.40 ± 1.61, including 57% house officers/interns and 43% medical residents/postgraduate trainees. Both the anxiety and depression scales were significantly higher in house officers as compared to their senior doctors (residents/postgraduate trainees). According to HAM-A, 62% of respondents were in the mild category, 20% mild to moderate, 5% moderate to severe, while 14 respondents (13%) were in severe anxiety category. The HAM-A (P=0.078) and HADS for anxiety was significantly higher in females (P=0.001), while HADS for depression was statistically indifferent among the gender. The means of all scales got improved after the postings in Corona wards. The duration of practice also had an inverse correlation observed with all the studied scales.

Conclusion: Depression and anxiety were seen quite higher in our population of health care workers with significant improvements that were observed after completing the rotations of corona units.

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