Factors Associated with Depression and Anxiety Symptoms among U.S. Physicians during the First Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic
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The COVID-19 global pandemic impacted the mental health of frontline workers of all disciplines across the world. The purpose of this study was to examine the protective and risk factors associated with depression scores (PHQ-9) and anxiety scores (GAD-7) of physicians practicing within the United States during the earliest phase of the pandemic. Anonymous online survey data was collected from 1,724 U.S. physicians between April – June of 2020 for this cross-sectional observational study. Recruitment was conducted via email and social media outlets. Multiple linear regression with multiple imputation of missing data was used to explore associations between each risk factor and outcome measure (PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores). Worry related to COVID-19 was associated with greater depression and anxiety scores. COVID-related changes (i.e. decreased exercise, increased alcohol intake, and decreased sleep) were each associated with greater mean depression and anxiety scores. Greater perception of employer support was associated with lower mean depression and anxiety scores while greater increase in telehealth usage was associated with greater mean depression and anxiety scores. Identification of protective and risk factors associated with depression and anxiety remains important to consider as the global pandemic continues to evolve, and healthcare workers continue to face ongoing stressors within the occupational setting.
Nahhas, R. W.,
& Sultan, H.
(2022). Factors Associated with Depression and Anxiety Symptoms among U.S. Physicians during the First Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education.