Burnout and psychological distress amongst Australian healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Australas Psychiatry. 2021 Feb;29(1):26-30. doi: 10.1177/1039856220965045. Epub 2020 Oct 12.


Objective: To examine psychological distress in healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic in April-May 2020.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey examining demographic, employment and mental health characteristics of HCWs in a large metropolitan hospital in Australia.

Results: HCWs showed significant symptoms of moderate-severe level depression (21%), anxiety (20%) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; 29%), associated with burnout, prior psychiatric history, profession and resilience.

Conclusion: Despite low levels of COVID contact, moderate to high levels of psychological distress were reported. Continued monitoring and support for HCWs' mental well-being is warranted as the COVID-19 pandemic develops.

Keywords: COVID-19; burnout; healthcare workers; mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Urban / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*