Psycho-behavioral responses of Nigerian health workers to an initial human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus disease
Unaogu, Ngozichukwu Nneka
Mohammed, Alhassan Datti
Alumona, Cajetan Okwudili
Echieh, Chidiebere Peter
AffiliationNnamdi Azikiwe University
University of Nigeria
Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu
University of Lagos
Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City
University of Bedfordshire
University of Calabar
Enugu State University of Science and Technology
frontline healthcare worker
Subject Categories::H123 Public Health Engineering
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AbstractPrevious pandemics have had significant impact on psychological well-being of front-line health care workers. Issues such as fear of contracting the disease, high workload as a result of high numbers of infected cases, increased job stress and unavailability of personal protective equipment have been implicated in development of psychological distress in this subset of individuals. The aim of the present paper is to describe psychobehavioral responses of health care workers and potential predictors of emotional response at onset of COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria. Cross-sectional web-based survey and 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7) were administered anonymously to 444 respondents comprising various categories of frontline healthcare workers. Stepwise multiple linear regression was used to determine predictors of anxiety scores. Participants were mostly young adults (mean age 38 years), females (57%), living with a partner (78.2%) and medical doctors (56.8%). Restrictions in clinical activities and use of hand sanitizers were commonest precautionary behaviors. Commonest emotional responses were anger and despair (27.0% and 25.7%), respectively. About 42.8% had clinically significant anxiety symptoms with highest burden among nurses. Perception of likelihood of 2nd wave (p=0.03), self-preparedness (p=0.04), gender (p=0.01) and cadre (p=0.02) were significant predictors of emotional response of anxiety. Study findings highlighted diverse psychological reactions of health care workers with a large proportion screening positive for significant anxiety symptoms. This has implications for planning a comprehensive psychosocial response to COVID-19 pandemic and for future pandemics among frontline health care workers in lowresource settings.
CitationOnu J, Onyeka T, Unaogu NN, Mohammed AD, Okunade K, Oriji S, Agom D, Edewuba D, Alumona CO, Echieh CP, Ozoagu A (2022) 'Psycho-behavioral responses of Nigerian health workers to an initial human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus disease', Journal of Public Health in Africa, 13 (1)
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