Perception, Working Experience and Psychiatric Morbidity among Information Technology Professionals during COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-sectional Survey
Dr. Debasish Sanyal,
156, Bhupen Roy Road, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Introduction: In the year 2020, the functioning of the world changed in a big way. For a large part of the year, the world stayed locked indoor, due to the novel Coronavirus Disease -2019 (COVID-19). The need for Information Technology (IT) has reached a new height, and this is certain to persist. Though the IT professionals were mostly working indoors in 'work from home' mode, work pressure and boredom increased according to few studies. Work from home also has different set of employees’ expectations and organisational responsibilities.
Aim: To assess the psychiatric morbidity working experience and related perspectives of the new normal, as perceived by IT professionals.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted in Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGME&R), Kolkata, West Bengal, India, between May 2020 and August 2020. A Google form-based survey was done which aimed to reach throughout the country. Consent was included as the first question of the form. An ethical clearance was taken from Institutional Ethical Committee of IPGME&R, Kolkata in convenience sampling of IT professionals. For the survey, a semistructured questionnaire was developed and Brief Resilience Coping Scale (BRCS), Ten Items Personality Inventory (TIPI), and K6 psychiatric morbidity screener were used to measure the psychiatric morbidity. Snow ball sampling methods was used to get the sample through free sharing of google forms over the internet. Relevant statistical tests were used to analyse the data, where p<0.05 had been considered significant.
Results: Total 72 IT professionals responded to the survey but only 71 were included due lack of informed consent. About 20 (28.2%) showed a high risk of losing their job as per their perception and 35 (49.29%) were highly worried about having COVID-19, while 44 (61.9%) were highly worried about bringing the infection home. 78.9% (n=71) showed screener positive psychiatric morbidity. Psychiatric morbidity was only dependent on “emotional stability” as a personality trait and “risk of Job loss” by regression analysis. Total 67 people were working from home, 37 (55.22%) felt the family time had increased, 28 (41.79%) felt family was happier due to work from home.
Conclusion: This study showed the psychiatric morbidity of IT professionals was quite high and it was not related to their resilience level and own perception of morbidity. Psychiatric morbidity was determined by emotional stability, and the threat of losing jobs. It also shed light on disease perception and state of work perception of IT professionals. Though work from home mode may compromise the work quality slightly but it was good for the families and personal stress levels of the employees.