The prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms among healthcare workers of east avenue medical center (EAMC) during the covid-19 pandemic

COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered corona virus SARSCoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2), has already reached pandemic scale worldwide. In any epidemic, it is common for individuals to feel stressed and worried, more especially for healthcare workers (HCWs), who may have direct contact with infected patients. In cross-sectional studies performed in China in Italy in 2020, several psychologic symptoms have been observed to be prevalent, some of which are anxiety, depression, insomnia, and traumatic distress. In this cross-sectional study of 390 health care workers, we use two brief mental health screening tools to identify employees with clinically significant psychologic distress. Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is a validated screening tool for depression based directly on the diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder, while Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 (GAD-7) is a validated screening tool for anxiety. For our sample population, 31.8% did not have depressive symptoms, 35.6% had mild, 21% moderate, 9.7% moderately severe and 1.8% had severe depressive symptoms. While for anxiety, 57.69% had no to minimal symptoms, 26.92% mild, 9.74% moderate and 5.64% had  severe anxiety symptoms. Factors such as marital status, educational attainment, occupation and employment status also appear to have correlation with the development of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Included among the perceived stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic are long working hours, insufficient income, inconsistent administrative policies, exposure to Covid-19 positive patients and co-workers, inadequate time off from work and increasing number of patients but without commensurate additional work force. It is therefore concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic indeed caused significant psychologic symptoms among health care workers. Measures to increase work force should be put in place to decrease work burden and employee fatigue. Providing adequate protective equipment can decrease anxiety by decreasing the probability of contracting the infection.


Maria Yna Eluisia T. Pereyra-Borlongan, Brian Jann R. Balanquit and Andre Angelo G. Tanque

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