ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0091.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; healthcare workers; United Kingdom; mental health; burnout; resilience; insomnia; depression; anxiety; lifestyle
Online: 5 April 2021 (10:24:40 CEST)
The burden of COVID-19 pandemic on health systems and the physical and mental health of healthcare workers (HCWs) has been substantial. This cross-sectional study aims to assess the effects of Covid-19 on the psychological wellbeing of mental health workers who provide care to a vulnerable patient population that have been particularly affected during this crisis. A total of 387 HCWs from across a large urban mental health service completed a self-administered questionnaire consisting of socio-demographic, lifestyle and work-based information and validated psychometric scales. Depression and anxiety were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) respectively, sleep problems with the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS), burnout with the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and resilience with the Resilience Scale-14 (RS-14). Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to determine potential mediating factors. Prevalence of burnout was notable, with 52% recording moderate/severe in Emotional Exhaustion, 19.5% moderate/severe in Depersonalisation and 55.5% low/moderate Personal Accomplishment. Over half of all respondents (52%) experienced sleep problems; the presence of depressive symptoms was a significant predictor of insomnia. An increase in potentially harmful lifestyle changes, such as smoking, alcohol consumption and over-eating was also observed. However, high Resilience was reported by 70% of the sample and the importance of this is highlighted. Female gender was associated with increased levels of depression and emotional exhaustion while those with a history of mental health conditions were most at risk of affective symptoms, insomnia and burnout. Overall, our study revealed considerable levels of psychological distress and maladaptive coping strategies but also resilience and satisfaction with organizational support provided. Findings can inform tailored interventions in order to mitigate vulnerability and prevent long-term psychological sequelae.