Comparison of hospital worker anxiety in COVID-19 treating and non-treating hospitals in the same city during the COVID-19 pandemic

Yael Milgrom, Yuval Tal, Aharon S. Finestone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The Hadassah Medical Organization operates two hospitals in Jerusalem. During the COVID-19 pandemic it made an administrative decision to operate one hospital as a COVID-19 treatment hospital (CTH) and to have the second function as a non-COVID-19 treating hospital (NCTH) offering general medical services. The purpose of this study was to assess how this decision affected hospital worker anxiety. Methods: From April 27 to May 1, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, while the country was under lock-down, an electronic questionnaire survey was carried out among hospital workers of the CTH and NCTH. The questionnaire includes personal demographics and attitudes about COVID-19 and assesses present anxiety state using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults (STAI-S) validated questionnaire. A STAI-S score of ≥45 was considered to represent clinical anxiety. Results: Completed questionnaires were received from 1570 hospital employees (24%). 33.5% of responders had STAI-S scores ≥45. Multivariable regression analysis showed that being a resident doctor (odds ration [OR] 2.13; 95% CL, 1.41–3.23; P = 0.0003), age ≤ 50 (OR, 2.08; 95% Cl, 1.62–2.67; P <.0001), being a nurse (OR, 1.29; 95% CL, 1.01–1.64; P = 0.039), female gender (OR, 1.63; 95% CL, 1.25–2.13; P = 0.0003) and having risk factors for COVID-19 (OR, 1.51; 95% CL, 1.19–1.91; P = 0.0007), but not hospital workplace (p = 0.08), were associated with the presence of clinical anxiety. 69% of the responders had been tested for COVID-19, but only nine were positive. CTH workers estimated that the likelihood of their already being infected with COVID-19 to be 21.5 ± 24.7% as compared to the 15.3 ± 19.5% estimate of NCTH workers (p = 0.0001). 50% (545/1099) of the CTH workers and 51% (168/330) of the NCTH workers responded that the most important cause of their stress was a fear of infecting their families (p = 0.7). Conclusions: By multivariable analysis the creation of a NCTH during the COVID-19 pandemic was not found to be associated with a decrease in the number of hospital workers with clinical anxiety. Hospital worker support resources can be focused on the at-risk groups identified in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Hospital workers
  • Lock-down
  • Questionnaire
  • Risk factors

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