Predictive Factors Associated With Fear Faced by Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Questionnaire-Based Study

Cureus. 2020 Aug 14;12(8):e9741. doi: 10.7759/cureus.9741.

Abstract

Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) since the beginning has been a reason of fear among healthcare workers (HCWs) due to the increased mortality, especially in the HCWs themselves. In this survey study, we aimed to explore the predictive factors associated with fear faced by HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify the areas which need to be addressed to reduce it. Methods On May 14, 2020, we conducted an observational, cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire, consisting of the following two parts: (1) focused on factors associated with HCWs' fear of getting an infection and being a source of carrying the infection to whom they care, and (2) focused on factors associated with HCWs' fear of uncertainty and lack of support from concerned health authorities. Results The mean age of the participants was 40.04 ± 12.92 years with 79.3% being males. More than half (51.1%) of the participants were consultants. The most important factors associated with fear included getting infected (84.8%), quarantined (69.6%), not getting medical treatment (62%), losing a life (56.8%), and infecting family members (94.2%). Another major factor associated with HCWs' fear was lack of support from concerned health authorities, 80.2% thought of solatium, and 71.7% believed that the job should be given to eligible family members of the deceased. More than 82.2% were concerned about health expenses and around 97.6% felt an additional health risk allowance should be given. Conclusion Our results indicate that the risk of getting infection to themselves and their families, along with a lack of support from concerned health authorities, was strongly associated with fear among HCWs. We hope through these findings that the concerned health authorities will take notice and do something in this regard by developing appropriate policies and measures to make sure that HCWs and their families are cared for if they get infected.

Keywords: covid-19; fear; healthcare worker; pandemic.