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Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Its Associated Factors Among Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19 in Southern Ethiopia

Authors Teshome A, Glagn M, Shegaze M, Tekabe B, Getie A, Assefa G, Getahun D, Kanko T, Getachew T, Yenesew N, Temtmie Z, Tolosie K

Received 18 September 2020

Accepted for publication 21 October 2020

Published 5 November 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 907—917


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Einar Thorsteinsson

Abinet Teshome,1 Mustefa Glagn,2 Mulugeta Shegaze,2 Beemnet Tekabe,2 Asmare Getie,3 Genet Assefa,3 Dinkalem Getahun,3 Tesfaye Kanko,1 Tamiru Getachew,4 Nuhamin Yenesew,5 Zebene Temtmie,5 Kabtamu Tolosie6

1Department of Biomedical Science, School of Medicine, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia; 2School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Science, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia; 3School of Nursing, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia; 4Department of Anatomy, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia; 5Department of Psychology, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia; 6Department of Statistics, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Mustefa Glagn
School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Science, Arba Minch University, P.O. Box 21, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Tel +251 913976776
Email [email protected]

Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are among the many groups of people who are in the frontline caring for people and facing heavy workloads, life-or-death decisions, risk of infection, and have been facing various psychosocial problems. So, monitoring mental health issues to understand the mediating factors and inform evidence-based interventions in a timely fashion is vital.
Purpose: This study aimed to assess generalized anxiety disorder and its associated factors among HCWs fighting COVID-19 in Southern Ethiopia.
Patients and Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 798 HCWs from 20 May to 20 June 2020. A pre-tested and structured interviewer-administered KOBO collect survey tool was used to collect data. The study participants were selected using a simple random sampling technique by allocating a proportion to each health institute. The association between the level of generalized anxiety disorder and its independent variables was examined by ordinal logistic regression. Assumptions for the proportional odds model were checked using parallel line tests. An adjusted proportional odds ratio with a 95% CI was used to calculate the strength of the statistical association between the independent and dependent variables.
Results: The prevalence of mild and moderate anxiety disorder among HCWs was 29.3% and 6.3%, respectively. Contact with confirmed or suspected cases (aPOR =1.97; 95% CI: 1.239, 3.132), no COVID-19 updates (aPOR=4.816, 95% CI=2.957, 7.842), no confidence on coping with stresses (aPOR=2.74, 95% CI=1.633, 4.606), and COVID-19-related worry (aPOR=1.85, 95% CI=1.120, 3.056) were positively associated with higher-order anxiety disorder. However, not feeling overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life (aPOR=0.52, 95% CI=0.370, 0.733) and feeling cannot make it (aPOR=0.44, 95% CI=0.308, 0.626) were negatively associated with a higher order of anxiety.
Conclusion: The study revealed that the prevalence of anxiety disorder among HCWs was high in the study area. The findings of the current study suggest immediate psychological intervention for health care workers in the study area is vital. Therefore, proactive measures should be taken by the stakeholders at different hierarchies to promote the psychological wellbeing of HCWs in order to control the impact of the pandemic on the HCWs, and containing the pandemic.

Keywords: anxiety, health care workers, associated factor, Ethiopia

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