Mental health burden for NHS healthcare staff during the COVID-19 pandemic: First results of a longitudinal survey

Sarah Danson, Fuschia Sirois, Kathryn Fradley, Jonathan Wadsley, Jaydip Ray, Rhian Bishop, Janet Horsman, Colette Mann, Loretta Chantry-Groves, Matthew Young, Richard Bentall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The current investigation aimed to assess the mental health burden on healthcare workers during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. A link to an online survey was sent to an estimate of 18,100 employees of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STH) who had access to email. The survey was completed between 2nd and June 12, 2020.1390 healthcare workers (medical, nursing, administrative and other professions) participated in the first survey. Data from a general population sample ( = 2025) was used for comparison. Severity of somatic symptoms was measured by the PHQ-15. Severity and probable diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and PTSD were measured by the PHQ-9, GAD-7, and ITQ. Linear and logistic regressions were performed to determine if population group predicted the severity of mental health outcomes, and probable diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Additionally, ANCOVAs were performed to compare mental health outcomes between occupational roles in HCWs. Analysis was performed using SPSS. Healthcare workers are more likely to experience greater severity of somatic symptoms, as well as severity and probable diagnosis of depression and anxiety, compared to the general population, but not increased traumatic stress symptoms. Scientific and technical, nursing and admin staff were more likely to experience worse mental health outcomes, compared to medical staff. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased mental health burden in some, but not all healthcare workers during the first acute phase of the pandemic. The findings from the current investigation provide valuable insights into which healthcare workers are particularly vulnerable to developing adverse mental health outcomes during and after a pandemic. [Abstract copyright: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.]
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13765
Pages (from-to)e13765
Issue number3
Early online date16 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Healthcare workers
  • COVID-19
  • Mental health


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