Psychological Assessment of Health Care Workers in Intensive Care Units During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Fear, Depression, COVID-19, Healthcare, Workers, Pakistan
Fear and depression are common to any pandemic particularly in healthcare workers as they are in the front line to treat the diseased. Such a state directly affects the performance of the health system and the patients who are seeking care. This study aimed at assessing the psychological effect of COVID-19 among the healthcare workers in the intensive care units of two tertiary care hospitals of Rawalpindi & Islamabad.
It was a descriptive cross-sectional study, conducted over five months i.e., 1st July 2020 to 1st November 2020. Non-probability consecutive sampling technique was used for recruiting health care workers. PHQ-9 tool was used including 9 questions (items) related to the depression due to COVID-19. Other tool Fear of COVID-19 scale was based on 5 points Likert scale as â€˜strongly disagreeâ€™, â€˜disagreeâ€™, â€˜neutralâ€™, â€˜agreeâ€™ and â€˜strongly agreeâ€™. Besides descriptive frequencies, mean and standard deviation, Spearman correlation (r) was applied to check the correlation between fear of COVID-19 with age (years) and professional experience (years).
Out of 382 healthcare workers (doctors, nurses & other staff) recruited in the study, around 50% were found to be suffering from severe depression and have developed a fear of the disease. A significant positive correlation was observed between the age of the healthcare worker and the degree of fear of COVID-19 (p<0.05). Similarly, a significant positive correlation was observed between the number of professional experience and the fear of COVID-19 (p<0.05).
It is concluded that healthcare workers in ICU are at risk of depression because of fear of COVID-19. The current situation highlights the areas that need attention. Special training or orientation must be arranged for a situation of an outbreak or a pandemic and skills for keeping oneâ€™s psychological wellbeing and mental health must be imparted.
KEYWORDS: Fear; Depression; Psychological impact; COVID-19, Healthcare workers, Pakistan
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