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Objectives: To assess anxiety and depression symptoms during the coronavirus pandemic among health care professionals in Pakistan. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study where a questionnaire containing demographics, and a validated fear scale, depression, and anxiety scale was made on Google drive and was sent to health care workers as doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff working in six different hospitals in Pakistan, through What's app on smartphones from May 1 to Jun 30, 2020. Data was analyzed on SPSS. Results: The response rate was 80%. Of 400 participants, 263 (65.8%) were physicians, and 137 (34.0%) were nurses and paramedical staff. 57.0% were less than 40 years, whereas 18.3% were more than 50 years of age. Majority of participants 65.5 % (n= 262) experienced moderate level of fear and 16.5% (n= 66) had high level of fear. 19% feared death. 57.0% reported social media to be responsible for increasing their fear. On the depression and anxiety scale, 22.0% (n=87) reported moderate to severe depression and anxiety symptoms. A significant relationship was demonstrated between the depression level and age, education, profession (p < 0.001). Similarly, anxiety and depression scores were strongly related to the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (p< 0.001). Conclusion: 22.0% of healthcare professionals are suffering from moderate to severe anxiety and depression symptoms, whereas 65.0% had moderate symptoms of fear. The predictors are age, education level, and co-morbidities. A high level of fear, anxiety, and depression raises concern for their psychological well-being through different programs.
Keywords: COVID-19; Healthcare workers; Psychosocial
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