Psychosocial status and attitudes of healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic



Covid 19, mental health, healthcare workers, Physicians, Non-physicians


Background/Aim: COVID-19 disease occurs in close contact due to its highly contagious nature. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are in the frontline of struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and psychosocial statuses of healthcare professionals working in this problematic condition have not yet been fully investigated in Turkey. We aimed to evaluate the mental health and psychosocial status, thoughts about the measures taken by the government, attitudes, and behaviors of healthcare workers facing the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether there is a difference between physician and non-physician HCWs. Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, a 56-question multiple-choice test created based on similar surveys and scales was performed by a one-to-one interview with the HCWs in three registered hospitals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic from 20 May to 10 June 2020. Mental health variables were assessed via the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4) and the Turkish Beck Depression Scale to specify psychological manifestations. A scoring system was applied using a four-point Likert scale, from no points (“strongly disagree”) to three points (“strongly agree”) to determine the levels of anxiety and depression. Participants were divided into two groups as physician and non-physician HCWs for subgroup analysis. Results: A total of 300 HCWs (45 physicians, 255 non-physician health care workers) enrolled in the survey. Only 0.8% of HCWs received psychological support from a therapist or psychiatrist. The most common concern during the COVID-19 pandemic was about “the elderly and other risky population being infected” (37.9%). Compared with non-physician HCWs, physicians felt more concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (80% vs 47.1%, P=0.006 χ2=12.591) and they agreed at a higher rate that the number of tests performed was sufficient (53.3% vs. 41.2%, P=0.030, OR: 0.29-0.35, χ2=7.047). For all HCWs, the "feeling of being infected with COVID-19” item had the highest mean total score (2.60 (0.97). The mean score of the “feeling nervous/anxious/on edge” item was 2.53 (0.52) for physicians and 2.26 (0.86) for non-physician HCWs. Non- physicians HCWs had a higher mean score for “Feeling of increased body pain and agony” item than physicians 0.27(0.80) vs 0.76 (1.23), mean dif=-0.50, 95% confidence interval=-1.002 to 0.006, P<0.05). Conclusions: The results of this study showed that healthcare professionals were most anxious about “being infected with COVID-19”. Both physician and non-physician HCWs were feeling nervous/anxious/on edge according to anxiety scores.


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Research Article

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Kurt E, Ovali İbrahim E, Gülaçtı U, Canpolat S, Kafadar H, Koparal M, Kaya H, Yücetaş Şeyho C. Psychosocial status and attitudes of healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2021 Mar. 1 [cited 2024 May 20];5(3):209-14. Available from: