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Prevalence and correlates of anxiety and depression in frontline healthcare workers treating people with COVID-19 in Bangladesh

  • Tasnim, Rafia1, 2
  • Sujan, Md. Safaet Hossain1, 2
  • Islam, Md. Saiful1, 2
  • Ritu, Asmaul Husna1
  • Siddique, Md. Abid Bin1
  • Toma, Tanziha Yeasmin1
  • Nowshin, Rifat1
  • Hasan, Abid3
  • Hossain, Sahadat1
  • Nahar, Shamsun1
  • Islam, Salequl1
  • Islam, Muhammad Sougatul4
  • Potenza, Marc N.5, 6, 7, 8
  • van Os, Jim9, 10
  • 1 Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, 1342, Bangladesh , Dhaka (Bangladesh)
  • 2 Centre for Advanced Research Excellence in Public Health, Savar, Dhaka, 1342, Bangladesh , Dhaka (Bangladesh)
  • 3 Rajshahi University, Rajshahi Sadar, Rajshahi, 6205, Bangladesh , Rajshahi (Bangladesh)
  • 4 BioTED, Mirpur, Dhaka, 1216, Bangladesh , Dhaka (Bangladesh)
  • 5 Department of Psychiatry and Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA , New Haven (United States)
  • 6 Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, Connecticut, USA , New Haven (United States)
  • 7 Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA , Wethersfield (United States)
  • 8 Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA , New Haven (United States)
  • 9 UMC Utrecht Brain Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands , Utrecht (Netherlands)
  • 10 Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom , London (United Kingdom)
Published Article
BMC Psychiatry
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
May 25, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-021-03243-w
Springer Nature


BackgroundHealthcare workers (HCWs) who are in the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic are often under significant pressures that may predispose them to symptoms of poor mental health. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of anxiety and depression among HCWs and factors correlated with mental health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. And, it also aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Bangla version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).MethodsA cross-sectional survey was conducted between July and August, 2020. A self-reported online questionnaire was utilized to collect data. The survey included questions concerning socio-demographic, lifestyle, and work setting, as well as the HADS. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and multiple linear regression analysis were performed.ResultsData from 803 HCWs (50.7% male; mean age: 27.3 [SD = 6.9]; age range: 18-58 years) were included in the final analysis. The Bangla HADS was psychometrically sound, and demonstrated good internal consistency and reliability (α = 0.83), and excellent construct validity. Prevalence estimates of anxiety and depression were 69.5%, and 39.5%, respectively, for less severe symptomology (at least borderline abnormal), and 41.2% and 15.7% for more severe (at least abnormal) symptomology. Regression analyses with the total HADS score as a dependent variable revealed significant (p < 0.05) associations with female gender, moderate and poor health status, infrequent physical exercising, smoking, having had regrets about one’s profession because of the pandemic and associated experiences, not updating on the latest COVID-19-related research, experiencing discrimination in the workplace, and facing social problems due to working in a lab or hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.ConclusionsSymptoms of anxiety and depression are prevalent among HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. The findings suggest a need for screening for mental health concerns, and employing early intervention to help these individuals.

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