This study reports preliminary findings on the prevalence of, and factors associated with, mental
health and wellbeing outcomes of healthcare workers during the early months (April-June) of the
COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.
Preliminary cross-sectional data were analysed from a cohort study (n=4,378). Clinical and non-clinical
staff of three London-based NHS Trusts (UK), 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 (GHQ-12). Secondary
outcomes are probable anxiety (GAD-7), depression (PHQ-9), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
(PCL-6), suicidal ideation (CIS-R), and alcohol use (AUDIT). Moral injury is measured using the Moray
Injury Event Scale (MIES).
Analyses showed substantial levels of 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 CMDs, anxiety, depression, PTSD symptoms, and alcohol misuse.
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.
|Journal||Occupational and Environmental Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Jan 2021|