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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among healthcare workers in ear-nose-throat clinics

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INTRODUCTION: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was established that otorhinolaryngologists were at a high risk of contracting the infection due to examinations of the upper airways. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health among healthcare workers (HCWs) in primary ear-nose-throat (ENT) practices.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study among HCWs assessing symptoms of anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ten-item scale) and depression (Patients Health Questionnaire, nine-item scale). The survey targeted otolaryngologists and staff in primary private practices in the Capital Region of Denmark during the COVID-19 lock-down in May 2020.

RESULTS: For 30% of the participants, signs were observed of depressive symptoms and 13% had signs of anxiety symptoms. Seventy percent felt sufficiently protected by their available personal protective equipment. Fifty-two percent worried about becoming infected in relation to their work and 56% feared infecting their families.

CONCLUSIONS: HCWs in Danish primary ENT practices did not display extraordinary stress reactions during the first wave of the pandemic. Noticeably, participants were concerned about acquiring the infection or transmitting it to their household.

FUNDING: none.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Volume68
Issue number6
ISSN1603-9629
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

    Research areas

  • Administrative Personnel/psychology, Ambulatory Care Facilities, Anxiety/etiology, COVID-19/psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Depression/etiology, Female, Health Personnel/psychology, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Nurses/psychology, Otolaryngologists/psychology, Otolaryngology, Personal Protective Equipment, Private Practice, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, SARS-CoV-2, Surveys and Questionnaires

ID: 67843337