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Psychosocial status and risk perception among Iranian healthcare workers during the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Hum Resour Health. 2023 Sep 18;21(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s12960-023-00862-0.


BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are essential resources, and their health and wellbeing are key not only for offering constant and useful care facilities to clients, but also for maintaining the safety of the workforce and patients. The risk of severe mental health problems among HCWs may have increased during large outbreaks of COVID-19. To evaluate the psychosocial status and risk perception of HCWs who participated in treating COVID-19 patients in Northern Iran, we performed a web-based cross-sectional study.

METHODS: The web-based cross-sectional design was applied between June 27 and September 2, 2021. Using convenience sampling, 637 HCWs were recruited from hospitals in Northern Iran (Mazandaran). The HCWs completed self-report questionnaires that included a sociodemographic information form, the 12-item General Health Questionnaire, Impact of the Event Scale-Revised, Risk Perception Questionnaire, and Anxiety Stress Scale-21. The data were analyzed via descriptive and inferential statistics and univariate/multivariate logistic regression to assess the risk factors linked to each psychosocial consequence.

RESULTS: The results reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse psychosocial influence on HCWs, which was already apparent 1.5 years after the crisis began. Based on the results, 71.6%, 55.6%, and 32.3% of HCWs reported having anxiety, depression, and stress symptoms, respectively, since the outbreak of this disease. The logistic regression models displayed that marital status, having children, and working hours with patients were all risk factors of psychosocial impairment.

CONCLUSIONS: The outbreak of COVID-19 can be considered an important experience of a bio-disaster resulting in a significant rate of psychiatric problems in HCWs. There is a need for designing and promoting supportive programs to help HCWs cope and to improve their psychosocial state, and the present study has detected for whom psychosocial support may be effective and practical 1.5 years after the primary outbreak. Moreover, detecting and managing concerns and reducing infection-related embarrassment/stigma are essential for improving HCWs’ mental health.

PMID:37723512 | DOI:10.1186/s12960-023-00862-0

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