COVID-19: Causes of anxiety and wellbeing support needs of healthcare professionals in the UK: A cross-sectional survey.
66 - 72
Clinical Medicine Journal
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BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has caused acute changes in healthcare delivery; this may impact mental health and wellbeing needs of healthcare professionals (HCPs). AIMS: We aimed to identify the causes of anxiety in HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic, to assess whether HCPs felt they had adequate mental health and wellbeing support and to identify their unmet support needs. METHOD: We used a web-based survey utilising an online tool circulated to UK HCPs over 5 weeks. Self-perceived anxiety levels prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic were measured on a 10-point Likert-type rating scale. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 558 HCPs. During the pandemic, self-perceived anxiety scores significantly increased from a median of 2 to 7 (paired Wilcoxon signed-rank test; p<0.001). The main reasons were concerns about exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and lack of personal protective equipment. Other wide-ranging reasons were identified. Only 41% of respondents felt there was adequate support. Thematic analysis of what support HCPs wanted identified 13 wide-ranging themes; including effective leadership and peer support. CONCLUSION: Anxiety levels in HCPs significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and the main causes were identified. Many HCPs felt there was inadequate support and identified what support they needed. Implementing effective strategies to support HCPs' unmet wellbeing needs are required as a matter of urgency.