Stress levels among healthcare workers and adult population during the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic in a metropolitan city
Keywords:third wave, COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers, general population, stress
Introduction: The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on public health has been widespread with clinically diverse manifestations ranging from asymptomatic presentation to critical illness. COVID-19 might influence different aspects of the stress process on the general population and healthcare workers (HCWs).
Objectives: To examine the relationship of demographic variables with depression, anxiety, and stress and to compare stress levels in HCWs and the general population.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A sample of 1,063 participants was collected based on two groups. The first group comprised of HCWs who were directly looking after COVID-19 confirmed or suspected patients and working in any primary, secondary, or tertiary care hospitals. The second group comprised of participants working in public-dealing departments or businesses. Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-42 (DASS-42) was administered to assess depression, anxiety, and stress.
Result: Young people, females, and people having less work experience and without civil defense or disaster management training were more depressed, anxious, and stressed. Participants who had no access to scientific journals were more stressed. Average time spent on social media on COVID-19-related information, history of psychological illnesses, and use of sedatives after the COVID-19 pandemic positively predicted anxiety, depression, and stress. There was no significant difference in the scores of depression, anxiety, and stress for HCWs and the general population.
Conclusion: The anxiety levels were comparable among HCWs and adults, with vulnerable groups being female gender, young adults, and those who had a previous history of depression or substance abuse. Special consideration must be given to mental health, and protocols must be designed to provide psychological and emotional support to susceptible individuals.
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