Depressed, anxious, and stressed: What have healthcare workers on the frontlines in Egypt and Saudi Arabia experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ahmed Arafa, Zeinab Mohammed, Omaima Mahmoud, Momen Elshazley, Ashraf Ewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

© 2020 Introduction: As the Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) was declared by the world health organization a pandemic in March 2020, thousands of healthcare workers (HCWs) worldwide were on the frontlines fighting against the pandemic. Herein, we selected two Middle East countries; Egypt and Saudi Arabia to investigate the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their HCWs. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a Google survey was used to access HCWs in many hospitals in Egypt and Saudi Arabia between the 14th and 24th of April 2020. The survey assessed HCWs regarding their sociodemographic and occupational features, sleeping hours, and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Results: This study included 426 HCWs (48.4% physicians, 24.2% nurses, and 27.4% other HCWs). Of them, 69% had depression, 58.9% had anxiety, 55.9% had stress, and 37.3% had inadequate sleeping (<6 h/day). Female sex, age ≤30 years, working in Egypt, attending emergency and night shifts, watching/reading COVID-19 news ≥2 h/day, and not getting emotional support from family, society, and hospital were associated with a high likelihood of depression, anxiety, stress, and inadequate sleeping. Limitations: the cross-sectional design restricted our ability to distinguish between preexisting and emerging psychological symptoms. Conclusion: HCWs on the frontlines in Egypt and Saudi Arabia experienced depression, anxiety, stress, and inadequate sleeping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume278
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

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