COVID-19 – A perspective of health care workers at Tertiary Care Hospital in Karachi – A Clinical Survey.
Objective: To assess the knowledge of healthcare officials about COVID-19 disease and its effects on the mental health of healthcare workers (HCWs). Study Design: Cross-sectional Survey. Setting: Tertiary Care Hospital in Karachi. Period: 1st February to 30th June 2020. Material & Methods: After approval of the hospital’s ethical committee, 70 HCWs, filled the pre-formed questionnaire including their demographic features, specialty and questions related to fear, stressful factors and strategies to mitigate this stress. Results: A total of 120 questionnaires were distributed to healthcare workers at a peripheral hospital with a return of 58.3%. Majority were females, 59(84.3%). The mean age was 30.32 years ±8.17 SD. All of our participants perceived it their professional and ethical responsibility to perform duties during COVID-19 pandemic. 97.1% felt proud to be serving humanity. 57.1% of HCWs were anxious. 52.9% were satisfied with hospital policies and felt appreciated. Triggering factors for the mental stress included: psychological conflict between profession and personal safety 71.4%, 87.1% feared intubation of colleagues, lack of family support among 38.6%, 92.9% were afraid of transmitting the infection to their families while 88.6% had anxiety due to uncertainty regarding when the pandemic will end. Various techniques employed by HCWs to cope with this stress included prayers, sports and exercise (95.7%), self-motivation (88.6%)and psychologist’s help (41.4%). Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to mental stress to HCWs from multiple factors and special attention to strategies to alleviate this stress is strongly recommended.