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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 273-280

The mental health of health care workers in the UK during COVID-19: The prevalence of anxiety, depression, and stress

1 University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
2 Consultant Psychiatrist, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust & Associate Professor (Hon), Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
3 Medical Student, The Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed J Abbas
Bradgate Unit, Groby Road, Leicester, LE3 9EJ
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.ijoem_69_22

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Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the mental health of health care workers (HCWs). Aim: This study investigated the mental health of HCWs working in Leicester, UK during COVID-19. Settings: Two hospital trusts in Leicester, UK. Methods: An online survey was sent to HCWs in two trusts in July 2020. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale (GAD-7) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scale (PHQ-9) were used to measure the prevalence rates of anxiety and depression. The Perceived Stress Scale-14 (PSS-14) was used to measure levels of perceived stress. Other questions were used to identify the prevalence of increased alcohol intake and possible risk factors. Statistical Analysis Used: Chi-square test, independent sample t-test, ANOVA, and logistic regression. Results: A total of 1009 HCWs completed the survey. Using a cutoff score of 5 (mild symptoms), for both GAD-7 and PHQ-9, 80.2% of participants had at least one condition and 71.5% had both. Using the cutoff score of 10 (moderate/severe symptoms), 27.2% had at least one condition and 27.25% had both conditions. In addition, 37.5% of those who did not report pre-existing mental health conditions now have at least one condition. About 33.6% of participants reported an increase in alcohol consumption. A number of risk factors were identified: having less social support, not feeling supported at work, and poor pre-existing mental health. Conclusions: The pandemic had a significant impact on mental health of HCWs. Health organizations need to monitor and address these emerging effects.


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