Psychological Aspects of COVID-19 in Iran: How the Disease May Affect Mental Health of Medical Staff and General Population?

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Health Research Center, Life Style Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences Tehran, Iran

2 Health Education Department, Faculty of Health, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Khatamolanbia Hospital, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

Abstract

Introduction: The disease related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now been a pandemic throughout the world. Although the epidemiological studies and clinical trials are utilized to find standard measures and medicines to prevent and control COVID-19, addressing the mental health and psychology of the people who may be at risk of the disease may also be effective to find comprehensive methods to better overcome this pandemic. This study aimed at investigating the mental status of both the general population and healthcare personnel during this pandemic in Iran.
Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, a sample of 296 medical staff and 532 people living in Tehran city of Iran were included in the study. The assessment was performed by Depression, Anxiety, and Stress scale short-form (DASS-21). Two groups were matched in terms of some demographical factors such as age, gender, and marital status. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was utilized to perform comparisons between the two groups.
Results: Both samples of the general population and medical staff had high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. The mean score of anxiety and depression among medical staff was higher than that of the general population (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of stress level.
Conclusion: It seems both the Iranian general population and healthcare personnel are under mental pressure caused by COVID-19, indicating an urgent need for intervention and using preventive measures to control the negative impacts of the diseases on the psychological well-being of these people. Further studies in other regions affected by the disease may provide more evidence in this regard.

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