Objectives: This study reports preliminary findings on the prevalence of, and factors associated with, mental health and well-being outcomes of healthcare workers during the early months (April-June) of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Methods: Preliminary cross-sectional data were analysed from a cohort study (n=4378). Clinical and non-clinical staff of three London-based NHS Trusts, including acute and mental health Trusts, took part in an online baseline survey. The primary outcome measure used is the presence of probable common mental disorders (CMDs), measured by the General Health Questionnaire. Secondary outcomes are probable anxiety (seven-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder), depression (nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (six-item Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder checklist), suicidal ideation (Clinical Interview Schedule) and alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test). Moral injury is measured using the Moray Injury Event Scale. Results: Analyses showed substantial levels of probable CMDs (58.9%, 95% CI 58.1 to 60.8) and of PTSD (30.2%, 95% CI 28.1 to 32.5) with lower levels of depression (27.3%, 95% CI 25.3 to 29.4), anxiety (23.2%, 95% CI 21.3 to 25.3) and alcohol misuse (10.5%, 95% CI 9.2 to 11.9). Women, younger staff and nurses tended to have poorer outcomes than other staff, except for alcohol misuse. Higher reported exposure to moral injury (distress resulting from violation of one's moral code) was strongly associated with increased levels of probable CMDs, anxiety, depression, PTSD symptoms and alcohol misuse. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that mental health support for healthcare workers should consider those demographics and occupations at highest risk. Rigorous longitudinal data are needed in order to respond to the potential long-term mental health impacts of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number11
Early online date28 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • health personnel
  • mental health
  • post-traumatic
  • psychiatry
  • psychology
  • stress disorders


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