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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Stress reactions in a tertiary oto-rhino-laryngological department during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Danish Capital region

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BACKGROUND: Health care workers (HCW) at otorhinolaryngological departments have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, due to aerosol-inducing diagnostic and surgical procedures in the airways. The ongoing exposure to physical and psychological stressors could impact the mental health of HCW.

AIM/OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact on mental health in an otorhinolaryngological department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MATERIALS/METHOD: Cross-sectional questionnaire study, assessing symptoms of depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-10). Physicians, nurses, and secretaries were included at a tertiary department of otorhinolaryngology in the Capital Region of Denmark during the COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020.

RESULTS: Positive screenings for stress reactions were found in 22% for depressive symptoms and 15.5% anxiety. 27% feared becoming infected, 47% feared infecting their families in relation to work. 27% felt others were distancing from them, and 38% isolated themselves from others because of their work. Women had an odds ratio of 9.18 (CI 1.49-179) for depressive stress reactions.

CONCLUSION: HCW were primarily concerned with transmitting COVID-19 to their relatives. Secondarily, there was a concern about becoming infected despite feeling adequately protected by personal protective equipment. Women were at higher risk of more severe depressive symptoms when corrected for professions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Volume141
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)791-795
Number of pages5
ISSN0001-6489
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

    Research areas

  • Adult, COVID-19/epidemiology, Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration, Cross-Sectional Studies, Denmark, Female, Hospital Departments, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Occupational Stress/epidemiology, Otolaryngology, Personnel, Hospital/psychology, Prevalence, Surveys and Questionnaires, Tertiary Care Centers, health care worker, mental health, pandemic, COVID-19, anxiety, depression

ID: 67742288