BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that health care workers (HCWs), as front liners of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, are at high risk for psychological symptoms, but few studies have compared these symptoms in infected and non-infected HCWs . This study compares psychological symptoms among these two groups .
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 938 HCWs from various medical fields working in the leading general hospitals of Alborz province, Iran, were selected using a multistage sampling method . The participants had contact with COVID-19 patients . Post-traumatic stress disorder-8 (PTSD-8) is a validated questionnaire that we used to evaluate PTSD symptoms along with its subscales, including intrusion, avoidance, and hypervigilance . Also, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 questionnaire was used to assess the severity of the aforementioned conditions in HCWs . Multivariate logistic regression was used to compare psychological symptoms in infected and non-infected HCWs .
RESULTS: Among 938 included HCWs, 55 had a history of confirmed COVID-19 infection . Prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression, intrusion, hypervigilance, and avoidance among infected HCWs were significantly higher in comparison to non-infected HCWs . In the multivariate logistic model, history of COVID-19 infection among HCWs was associated with a significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, stress, intrusion, hyper-vigilance, and avoidance .
CONCLUSION: The present study showed that the HCWs with COVID-19 infection were at a high risk of displaying psychological symptoms . Therefore, it is also necessary to develop psychological support and interventions for HCWs, especially those who got infected with the virus.
Index: Anxiety, COVID-19, Depression, Health care workers, PTSD, Stress