Evaluation of anxiety and hopelessness levels in emergency service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey

COVID-19 and anxiety, hopelessness in emergency workers



COVID-19, emergency service workers, anxiety, hopelessness


Background/Aim: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant threat to the lives of individuals, particularly frontline healthcare workers. This brought about negative emotions, such as anxiety and hopelessness. Despite the existence of research evaluating psychiatric symptoms among healthcare personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study is also significant in terms of evaluating and emphasizing the common negative emotions experienced by frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic. This study aimed to evaluate anxiety and hopelessness levels in emergency service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and to examine these levels in terms of specific variables.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among emergency service healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and healthcare officers working in a training and research hospital from July 10 to August 10, 2020 during the pandemic. Participants completed a survey that included a sociodemographic information form, the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). A total of 135 personnel without a history of psychiatric illness or use of psychiatric medication were included in the study.

Results: Of the 135 participants in the study, 67 were female, and 68 were male. The mean state anxiety score for all participants was 44.5 (12.6), trait anxiety score was 44.2 (7.3) and hopelessness score was 7.1 (5.2). It was found that the anxiety of emergency service workers during the pandemic was at a moderate level and their hopelessness was at a mild level.

In the study, higher scores were found in hopelessness and state-trait anxiety measurements in married individuals compared to single participants (P=0.040, P=0.003, P=0.001, respectively). Trait anxiety scores were significantly higher among those with chronic diseases compared to those without chronic diseases, and in those living with families compared to those living alone (P=0.039 and P=0.017, respectively). A positive and moderate relationship was observed between hopelessness levels and state-trait anxiety levels (P<0.001 for all, r=0.457, r=0.425, respectively).

Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased levels of anxiety and hopelessness were detected among healthcare workers in emergency services. It was observed that as the working time in the emergency department increased, hopelessness and state anxiety levels of the employees also increased.


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Canlı D, Can S. Evaluation of anxiety and hopelessness levels in emergency service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey: COVID-19 and anxiety, hopelessness in emergency workers. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2024 Feb. 23 [cited 2024 Jul. 15];8(2):42-7. Available from: https://jsurgmed.com/article/view/7840