Prevalence of Anxiety and its Severity
among Different Specialities of
Healthcare Professionals during
Dr. Vitull Kumar Gupta,
5042, Afim Wali Gali, Bathinda, Punjab, India.
Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has adversely affected people’s physical and mental health necessitating a comprehensive public and mental health strategy focusing on venerable populations including Healthcare Professionals (HCPs). Anxiety is a common mental health problem and untreated anxiety may cause immediate and long-term adverse health effects. Currently, the data on the psychological impact of COVID-19 among specialities of HCPs is sparse.
Aim: To study the prevalence of anxiety and its severity among different specialities of HCPs during COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted among HCPs from 1st October, 2020 to 20th February, 2021 at Kishori Ram Hospital and Diabetes Care Centre, Bathinda, Punjab, India, during COVID-19 pandemic in India using e-copies and hard copies of anonymously complete voluntary survey proforma. The proforma included socio-demography variables and a validated pretested structured Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) questionnaire distributed physically and by social media platforms to Indian doctors and medical students of >18 years of age from all over India. From all responses received, 2246 were found to be valid responses from HCPs comprising of 1624 from medical specialities, 225 surgical specialities, 101 emergency/critical care specialities and 296 from students/dental speciality. No HCPs other than doctors with valid MBBS/BDS degrees or MBBS/BDS students were included. Valid responses were analysed according to the speciality in relation to prevalence of anxiety, its severity, age and gender. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare GAD-7 score among different specialty group.
Results: About 972 (43.3%) were in 20 to 40 years age group including 655 (67.4%) medical, 42 (4.3%) surgical, 37 (3.8%) emergency/critical care and 238 (24.5%) from students/dental speciality. Male HCPs were 1513 and female HCPs were 733. Prevalence of anxiety was 79.3% among all HCPs. According to gender groups, prevalence of anxiety was 78.1% in males and 81.6% in females. According to age groups the prevalence of anxiety was 81.3% in 20-40 years age group, 81.6% in 41-60 years and 61.5% in >60 years age group. Among specialities, prevalence of anxiety was 78% in medical speciality group, 86.7% in surgical speciality group, 92.1% in emergency/critical care group and 76.4% in students/dental speciality group. Results showed maximum mean score in emergency/critical care speciality group and minimum mean score in medical speciality group.
Conclusion: High prevalence of anxiety and its severity among HCPs across specialities highlights the adverse mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic underscoring the need for appropriate mental health support with multidisciplinary comprehensive mental healthcare measures.