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Original Papers

Psychological distress, challenges and perceived needs among doctors and nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka

Authors:

P. S. Alles,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About P. S.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Y. M. Rohanachandra ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Y. M.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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L. Amarakoon,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About L.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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S. Prathapan

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
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Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Abstract

Background: Studies done around the world since the onset of the pandemic have shown high levels of psychological morbidity among healthcare workers (HCW). Psychological impact of COVID-19 on HCW in Sri Lanka has not been assessed. Objectives: To assess the psychological distress, challenges and perceived needs among healthcare workers (HCW) during COVID-19 pandemic in a tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was done among 394 HCW. A specifically designed questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographic details and challenges faced by HCW. Depression, anxiety stress scale (DASS-21) was used to measure psychological impact. Results: Anxiety was the commonest psychological squeal. High levels of anxiety were present in 15.7% and in 4.8% the anxiety was severe. High levels of depression were seen in 13.9%, with 4.3% showing severe symptoms. Elevated stress was seen in 11.4% with 2.6% experiencing severe stress. Females, nurses and those aged between 25-34 years had higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress (p<0.05). HCW in units with higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 had a higher levels of stress and anxiety (p<0.05). Difficulty in obtaining food (61.4%) and lack of transport facilities (41.8%) were the main difficulties among the HCW. Availability of better PPE was the main need of HCW (85.0%). Stigma due to working with COVID-19 patients was experienced by 29.7%. Conclusion: Screening for psychological consequences among HCW and providing psychological support to HCW is needed.
How to Cite: Alles, P.S., Rohanachandra, Y.M., Amarakoon, L. and Prathapan, S., 2021. Psychological distress, challenges and perceived needs among doctors and nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 12(1), pp.4–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v12i1.8279
Published on 12 Jun 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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