Main Article Content

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to assess the anxiety and depression symptoms in healthcare professionals in Pakistan as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from May to June 2020 and included six different hospitals in Pakistan. An English-language demographics questionnaire, a validated COVID-19 fear scale, depression scale PHQ-9 and anxiety scale GAD-7 were sent to doctors, nurses and paramedical staff via WhatsApp. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square test and Student’s t-test. Results: A total of 400 participants were included in this study (response rate: 80.0%); 263 (65.8%) were doctors and 137 (34.3%) were nurses and paramedical staff. Of the participants, 57.0% were less than 40 years old and 18.3% were aged above 50. Most of the participants (n = 262; 65.5 %) experienced moderate levels of fear and 16.5% (n = 66) experienced a high level of fear. Moreover, 19.5% feared death and 56.5% reported social media to be responsible for increasing their fears. On the depression PHQ-9 and anxiety GAD-7 scales, 21.8% (n = 87) reported moderate to severe depression and anxiety symptoms. A significant relationship was demonstrated between the depression level and age, education and profession (P <0.001 each). Similarly, anxiety and depression scores were strongly related to the availability of personal protective equipment (P <0.001). Conclusion: It was found that 21.8% of healthcare professionals are suffering from moderate to severe depression symptoms, 15.5% had moderate to severe anxiety, whereas 65.5% had moderate symptoms of fear. The predictors are age, education level and co-morbidities. These moderate to high levels of fear and anxiety and depression raise concerns about the psychological well-being of healthcare staff and should be addressed through different programmes.


Keywords: COVID-19; Healthcare workers; Fear; Anxiety; Depression; Patient Health Questionnaire; Pakistan.  

Article Details

How to Cite
Ali, S. M., & Nausheen, S. (2022). Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Workers: A cross-sectional survey from Pakistan. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal [SQUMJ], 22(1), 82–90. https://doi.org/10.18295/squmj.4.2021.067