Association of exposure to COVID-19 and mental health status of healthcare workers: a cross-sectional study in Mashhad hospitals

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor of psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant professor of psychiatry, Golestan Research Center of Psychiatry (GRCP), Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

3 M.D., Psychiatry Resident, Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Ibn-e-Sina Hospital, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 MD. Community Medicine Specialist, Assistant Professor of Community Medicine, Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran

5 Students Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: An increase in symptoms of anxiety, particularly in Healthcare workers (HCWs) are already being reported in several countries concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to compare the mental health and anxiety of HCWs in COVID-19 referral centers and other hospitals.
Methods: This cross-sectional consisted of 180 HCWs including 81 participants in COVID-19 wards and 99 in other wards. The mental health was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28), Health Anxiety Inventory (HAI-18), and Corona Disease Anxiety Scale (CDAS). Participants were provided with the online questionnaires using social media apps. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 16. chi-square test (or Fisher exact test), independent samples T-test and linear regression were used when appropriate.
Results: The mean age of the participants were 36.55±9.48 years and 120 (66.7%) were women. The mean score of HAI-18 and CDAS questionnaires were significantly lower in COVID-19 HCWs (p<0.05), however, GHQ-28 score was not different between the two groups. The shift duration (β=-0.297, p=0.026), shift hours (β=0.283, p=0.044), and different hospital units (β=0.211, p=0.045) significantly affect the CDAS scores. Also, number of children was significant determinant of the GHQ-28 score (β=-0.224, p=0.035)
Conclusion: HCWs in the COVID-19 wards experience less anxiety compared to HCWs without contact with COVID-19 patients.