Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Pakistani doctors
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant burden on healthcare system and adversely affected the health care professionals all over the world including Pakistan. Therefore, the short- and long-term effects of this pandemic on mental health of Pakistani medical doctors need to be established.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the mental health status and associated factors among doctors exposed to COVID-19 in Pakistan.
Methodology: An online survey was carried among doctors working in different government hospitals. A Questionnaire was developed which comprised of three different sections. Mental health was assessed on basis of scoring in three Likert scales including Generalized anxiety disorder -7 scale (GAD-7), Insomnia severity index (ISI-7) and Patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9). Cluster analysis was used, and chi-square test was applied for comparison of characteristics.
Results: Study was conducted on 73 specialists /consultants working in different government hospitals of the country. 54.8% of them suffered from subthreshold mental disturbances while 23.3% had mild disorders, 12.3% had moderate disorders and 9.6% suffered from severe mental disturbances. Various factors having significant relationship with psychological status of doctors were identified.
Conclusion: COVID-19 outbreak has significantly affected the psychological health of Pakistani doctors. The factors adversely affecting the mental health of our health care professionals need to be addressed by providing psychological support to them.
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