Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in Health Professionals Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Peru: An Analytical Cross-Sectional Study
Alan Quispe-Sancho 1, Katerin Lesly Chambi-Macedo 2, Verónica Laurel-Vargas 1, Edson Huamani-Merma 1, Katherine Vanesa Cuzcano-Gonzales 3, Milagros Alexandra Huaita-Rocha 4, Lesly Mendoza-Guillen 5, Akemi Diana Sanchez-Choquepata 1, Jheampiero Fuentes-Casani 1, António Bandeira 6, Marcos Roberto Tovani-Palone 7 * , Christian R. Mejia 8 *
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1 Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco, Escuela Profesional de Medicina Humana, Asociación científica de estudiantes de medicina humana ASOCIEMH CUSCO, Cusco, PERU2 Unidad de Telesalud -Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, PERU3 Universidad San Martín de Porres-Filial norte, SCIEMVE Sociedad Científica de Estudiantes de Medicina Veritas, Chiclayo, PERU4 Facultad de Medicina Humana, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Tarapoto, Sociedad Científica de Estudiantes de Medicina de San Martín (SOCIEMSA), San Martín, PERU5 Facultad de Medicina San Fernando, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM), Sociedad Científica San Fernando (SCSF), Lima, PERU6 Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Porto, PORTUGAL7 Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, BRAZIL8 Universidad Continental, Lima, PERU* Corresponding Author


Objective: To determine the association between depression, anxiety, and stress according to sociodemographic and occupational factors in Peruvian health professionals during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Methods: Cross-sectional analytical and multicentre study, based on a virtual survey sent to Peruvian health personnel (from the 25 Peruvian regions) working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The three dependent variables (depression, anxiety, and stress) were measured with the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale -21 (DASS-21) (Cronbach’s Alpha: 0.93) and compared with sociodemographic and occupational variables. P-values were obtained through generalized linear models, adjusted for each location where the survey was sent.
Results: Of the 550 participants, 2%, 13%, and 3% of them had severe or very severe depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, we observed that professionals with a greater number of children had a lower frequency of severe depression (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR): 0.37; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.17-0.79; p = 0.010). In addition, physicians had a lower frequency of severe anxiety (aPR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.18-0.75; p = 0.036), and professionals who lived in the Central region (aPR: 0.50; 95% CI: 0.25-0.97; p = 0.042) and in the South of the country (aPR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.19-0.71; p = 0.003) had lower anxiety levels compared to those in the Northern region. With regard to severe stress, those who lived in the Central (aPR: 0.15; 95% CI: 0.03-0.75; p = 0.021) and South regions (aPR: 0.19; 95% CI: 0.04-0.79; p = 0.011) had lower stress levels.
Conclusion: There were significant percentages of deteriorating mental health in Peruvian health professionals during the pandemic, which may have negative repercussions in the short-, medium-, and long-term. In this sense, additional governmental actions should be necessary to provide specific psychological and psychiatric support programs to these workers.


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Article Type: Original Article

ELECTRON J GEN MED, 2021, Volume 18, Issue 6, Article No: em319

Publication date: 08 Sep 2021

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