This article was originally published here
Ann Acad Med Singap. 2021 Mar;50(3):203-211.
INTRODUCTION: Frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at risk of psychological distress. This study evaluates the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on HCWs in a national paediatric referral centre.
METHODS: This was a survey-based study that collected demographic, work environment and mental health data from paediatric HCWs in the emergency, intensive care and infectious disease units. Psychological impact was measured using the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale-21. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors associated with psychological distress.
RESULTS: The survey achieved a response rate of 93.9% (430 of 458). Of the 430 respondents, symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress were reported in 168 (39.1%), 205 (47.7%) and 106 (24.7%), respectively. Depression was reported in the mild (47, 10.9%), moderate (76, 17.7%), severe (23, 5.3%) and extremely severe (22, 5.1%) categories. Anxiety (205, 47.7%) and stress (106, 24.7%) were reported in the mild category only. Collectively, regression analysis identified female sex, a perceived lack of choice in work scope/environment, lack of protection from COVID-19, lack of access to physical activities and rest, the need to perform additional tasks, and the experience of stigma from the community as risk factors for poor psychological outcome.
CONCLUSION: A high prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress was reported among frontline paediatric HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personal psychoneuroimmunity and organisational prevention measures can be implemented to lessen psychiatric symptoms. At the national level, involving mental health professionals to plan and coordinate psychological intervention for the country should be considered.
Credit: Original article published here.