Psychological status of healthcare workers during the civil war and COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study



Elhadi M, Msherghi A, Elgzairi M, Alhashimi A, Bouhuwaish A, Biala M, Abuelmeda S, Khel S, Khaled A, Alsoufi A, Elmabrouk A, Alshiteewi FB, Alhadi B, Alhaddad S, Gaffaz R, Elmabrouk O, Hamed TB, Alameen H, Zaid A, Elhadi A, Albakoush A.


J Psychosom Res. 2020 Aug 16;137:110221. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110221. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Healthcare workers, particularly those working in departments that provide care for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are at a higher risk of this contagious disease than those who work in other departments. The aim of this study was to assess the psychological status of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, which has compounded Libya’s existing civil war-related problems. METHODS: A multi-center cross-sectional survey on depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and abuse was conducted. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to measure the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms among healthcare workers. RESULTS: The data of 745 eligible healthcare workers from 15 hospitals were analyzed. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were compared to the basic characteristics of the participants to determine the association. A total of 420 (56.3%) participants had depressive symptoms, while 348 (46.7%) had anxiety symptoms. Age, residency status, department, stigmatization, and living in a conflict zone were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Age, department, years of experience, working hours per week, internal displacement, stigmatization, living in a conflict zone, and verbal abuse were significantly associated with anxiety symptoms. CONCLUSION: Our study presents important findings regarding depressive, anxiety symptoms, and abuse among physicians providing care during the COVID-19 outbreak and civil war in Libya. It also demonstrates several factors that can be associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms in this population. CI – Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Link/DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2020.110221