Original Research

Prevalence and correlates of psychological distress amongst healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: An online survey

Olamiji A. Badru, Kehinde O. Oloko, Abdulwasiu O. Hassan, Oyindamola B. Yusuf, Umar A. Abdur-Razaq, Saheed Yakub
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 27 | a1617 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v27i0.1617 | © 2021 Olamiji A. Badru, Kehinde O. Oloko, Abdulwasiu O. Hassan, Oyindamola B. Yusuf, Umar A. Abdur-Razaq, Saheed Yakub | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 August 2020 | Published: 29 July 2021

About the author(s)

Olamiji A. Badru, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Medicine, Federal Medical Center, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Kehinde O. Oloko, Department of Haematology, Haematology Mavens Specialist Center, Lagos, Nigeria
Abdulwasiu O. Hassan, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Achievers University, Owo, Nigeria
Oyindamola B. Yusuf, Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Umar A. Abdur-Razaq, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Clinical sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Saheed Yakub, Department of Surgery, Osun State University (UNIOSUN) Teaching Hospital, Osun, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: Understanding the mental health needs of healthcare workers during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic with a view of mitigating its impact on occupational functioning is vital.

Aim: To determine the prevalence and correlates of psychological distress amongst healthcare workers.

Setting: The study was carried out in Nigeria during COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative study using a convenience sample was conducted amongst healthcare workers. The survey comprised of two Google formatted self-report questionnaires, a 12-item General Health Questionnaire and a questionnaire containing socio-demographic, work related and knowledge of COVID-19 variables. Questionnaires were distributed via closed professional WhatsApp platforms. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, chi-square test and logistic regression.

Results: There were 313 respondents and prevalence of psychological distress was 47.0%. Females were almost twice as likely to have psychological distress as males (OR = 1.92, 95% CI: 1.21–3.04, p = 0.006). Healthcare workers who had no contact with COVID-19 positive patients had an 87% reduced risk of psychological distress (OR = 0.13, 95%CI: 0.23–0.25, p = 0.018) compared with those who had contact with COVID-19 positive patients. Healthcare workers with poor knowledge of COVID-19 had a 44% reduced risk of psychological distress compared with those with good knowledge (OR = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.34–0.93, p = 0.025).

Conclusion: Findings revealed that healthcare workers in Nigeria reported psychological distress during COVID-19 pandemic. Greater risk was amongst females and those who had contact with COVID-19 positive patients whilst poor knowledge was protective.


Keywords

COVID-19; psychological distress; healthcare workers; Nigeria; general health questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), pandemic

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