Fear of COVID-19 among Staff Nurses Working in Tertiary Care Hospital, Erode, Tamil Nadu: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. A Purnasingh,
Professor, Department of Physiology, Saint James of Medical School,
Anguilla, British West Indies.
Introduction: The new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has put a strain on healthcare workers, and the virus offers major personal and professional threats. Mental health has been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, causing them to be fear of becoming sick. During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals have been psychologically impacted including fear, anxiety, and depression.
Aim: To determine the level of COVID-19 fear among hospital nurses in tertiary hospital care hospital, Erode dristrict, Tamil Nadu.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional survey study was conducted among employees of Government Erode Medical College Hospital and nearby Hospitals in Erode district, Tamil Nadu, India, from July 2020 to August 2020, to evaluate the fear of COVID-19 using the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S). It used a self-administered questionnaire (online Google form survey). It consisted of two parts, first was socio-demographic details and second was fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S). The inclusion criteria of participants were all staff nurses working in COVID-19 ward, for minimum of three months in Erode district and willingness to participate. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), F-test and student Independent t-test analysis was performed to examine the relationship between demographic characteristics and fear levels.
Results: The study included a total of 277 staff nurses. The participant’s mean age was 32.25±6.45 years, with females accounting for 93.5% of the total. The scale’s internal reliability was excellent, with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.902. Overall, the mean COVID-19 fear score was (59.3%) 20.8 out of 35. The maximum fear score was for the statement “I am most afraid of Corona” (65%) and the minimum fear score was for “I cannot sleep because I am worried about getting Corona” (51.8%). Fear levels were higher in females (p-value=0.02), overweight people (p-value=0.001), those living in joint families (p-value=0.01), married individuals (p-value=0.03), participants with two children (p-value=0.001), and Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) staff (p-value=0.001).
Conclusion: The survey found a high level of fear in staff nurses who work in COVID-19 wards. Steps must be taken to preserve their health, by providing adequate resources to relieve their worries and anxiety, enabling them to carry out their frontline duties in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic.