Factors Associated with Mental Health Outcomes in Oman During COVID-19: Frontline vs Non-Frontline Healthcare Workers

Muna Alshekaili, Walid Hassan, Nazik Al-Said, Fatima Alsulimani, Satish Kumar Jayapal, Adhra Al-Mawali, Moon Fai Chan, Sangeetha Mahadevan, Samir Al-Adawi

Research output: Working paperPreprint

Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could experience more psychological burden than non-frontline HCWs.  <br><br>OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess and compare demographic and psychological factors and sleep status of frontline HCWs in relation to non-frontline HCWs.  <br><br>DESIGN, SETTINGS, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional study was conducted using an online survey from the 8th to the 17th of April 2020 across varied health care settings in Oman accruing 1139 HCWS.  <br><br>MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Mental health status was assessed using Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales (DASS-21), and insomnia was evaluated by the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). Samples were categorized into the frontline and non-frontline groups. Chi-square, odds ratio, and independent t-tests were used to compare groups by demographic and mental health outcomes.  <br><br>RESULTS: This study included 1139 HCWs working in Oman. There was a total of 368 (32.3%), 388 (34.1%), 271 (23.8%), and 211 (18.5%) respondents reported to have depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia, respectively while working during the pandemic period. HCWs in the frontline group were 1.4 times more likely to have anxiety (OR=1.401, p=0.007) and stress (OR=1.404, p=0.015) as compared to those working in the non-frontline group. On indices of sleep-wake cycles, HCWs in the frontline group were 1.37 times more likely to report insomnia (OR=1.377, p=0.037) when compared to those working in the non-frontline group. No significant differences in depression status between workers in the frontline and non-frontline groups were found (p=0.181). <br><br>CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the differential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on different grades of HCWs. This study suggests that frontline HCWs are disproportionally affected compared to non-frontline HCWs. The problem with managing sleep-wake cycles and anxiety symptoms were highly endorsed among frontline HCWs. As psychosocial interventions are likely to be constrained owing to the pandemic, mental health care must first be directed to frontline HCWs.<br><br>FUNDING STATEMENT: None.<br><br>DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: None reported.<br><br>ETHICS APPROVAL STATEMENT: Ethical approval was obtained before the commencement of the study from the local IRB, Directorate General of Planning and Studies, Centre of Studies and Research, Ministry of Health (MOH/ DGPS/CSR/20/2311). Written consent was sought from participants.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2020

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