Document Type

Article

Department

Medical College Pakistan; Community Health Sciences

Abstract

Background:
Healthcare workers (HCWs) have found themselves and their families more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. This puts them at a higher risk of psychological distress, which may compromise patient care. In this study, we aim to explore the risk perceptions and psychological distress between HCWs and non-healthcare workers (NHCWs) in Pakistan.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was conducted using an online self-administered questionnaire. Psychological distress was assessed through The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Comparisons were made between HCWs (front/backend, students/graduates) and NHCWs related to risk perceptions and stress levels related to COVID19. Following tests for normality (Shapiro–Wilk test), variables that fulflled the normality assumption were compared using the independent samples t-test, while for other variables Mann–Whitney U-test was employed. Pearson Chisquare test was used to compare categorical data. Multiple logistic regression techniques examined the association of participant age, gender, household income, and the presence of COVID-19 symptoms with depression and anxiety levels.
Results:
Data from 1406 respondents (507 HCWs and 899 NHCWs) were analyzed. No signifcant diference was observed between HCWs and NHCWs’ perception of susceptibility and severity towards COVID-19. While healthcare graduates perceived themselves (80% graduates vs 66% students, p-value 0.011) and their family (82% graduates vs 67% students, p-value 0.008) to be more susceptible to COVID-19, they were less likely to experience depression than students. Frontline HCWs involved in direct patient care perceived themselves (83% frontline vs. 70% backend, p-value 0.003) and their family (84% frontline vs. 72% backend, p-value 0.006) as more susceptible to COVID-19 than backend healthcare professionals. Over half of the respondents were anxious (54% HCWs and 55% NHCWs). Female gender, younger age, lower income, and having COVID-19 related symptoms had a signifcant efect on the anxiety levels of both HCWs and NHCWs.
Conclusion:
Frontline HCWs, young people, women, and individuals with lower income were at a higher risk of psychological distress due to the pandemic. Government policies should thus be directed at ensuring the mental

Comments

Pagination are not provided by the author/publisher

Publication

Human resources for health

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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