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The Mental Health of Healthcare Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mesut IŞIK, Umut KIRLI, Pınar Güzel ÖZDEMİR
2021 32(4): 225-234
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Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the anxiety, depression,
insomnia and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and the
assocaited sociodemographic, clinical and professional factors during
the COVID-19 pandemic in healthhcare workers.
Method: A total of 509 participants joined an online survey to complete
the data acquisition tools consisting of a Sociodemographic and Clinical
Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the
Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-
Short Scale (PTSD-SS).
Results: The 509 participants of the study consisted of physicians
(69.2%) and nurses (30.8%). On the basis of the scores above the
cut-off points of the pscyhometric scales used, the mental symptoms
of the participants were ranked as 54.2% on depression, 26.3% on
anxiety, 20.8% on insomnia and 8.8% on PTSD. The corresponding
scores of the 20-30 year old, the female and the nursing participants
were significantly higher as compared to the others (p<0.001, for all).
Significant differences were not found in these scores with respect to
working or not working directly with COVID-19 patients, or having
a family member with or without COVID-19 infection (p>0.05).
Having a history of suspected COVID-19 infection was significantly
associated with insomnia (p=0.026 and PTSD (p=0.008). Also, the
anxiety and PTSD scores of the participants with a history of mental
disorder diagnosis were significantly higher in comparison to the others
(p<0.001).
Conclusion: The results indicated that females, nurses, participants in
the 20-30 year age group and with a history of mental disorder diagnosis
were in the high risk group for impaired mental health, irrespective of
their professional positions. Close monitoring and early intervention are
essential for these high-risk individuals.