Background: Stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the most important research and practice challenges for psychologists, psychiatrists, and behavioral scientists. Due to the importance of issue and the lack of general statistics on these disorders among the Hospital staff treating the COVID-19 patients, this study aims to systematically review and determine the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression within front-line healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients.
Methods: In this research work, the systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression approaches are used to approximate the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression within front-line healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients. The keywords of prevalence, anxiety, stress, depression, psychopathy, mental illness, mental disorder, doctor, physician, nurse, hospital staff, 2019-nCoV, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 and Coronaviruses were used for searching the SID, MagIran, IranMedex, IranDoc, ScienceDirect, Embase, Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science (ISI) and Google Scholar databases. The search process was conducted in December 2019 to June 2020. In order to amalgamate and analyze the reported results within the collected studies, the random effects model is used. The heterogeneity of the studies is assessed using the I2 index. Lastly, the data analysis is performed within the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software.
Results: Of the 29 studies with a total sample size of 22,380, 21 papers have reported the prevalence of depression, 23 have reported the prevalence of anxiety, and 9 studies have reported the prevalence of stress. The prevalence of depression is 24.3% (18% CI 18.2-31.6%), the prevalence of anxiety is 25.8% (95% CI 20.5-31.9%), and the prevalence of stress is 45% (95% CI 24.3-67.5%) among the hospitals' Hospital staff caring for the COVID-19 patients. According to the results of meta-regression analysis, with increasing the sample size, the prevalence of depression and anxiety decreased, and this was statistically significant (P < 0.05), however, the prevalence of stress increased with increasing the sample size, yet this was not statistically significant (P = 0.829).
Conclusion: The results of this study clearly demonstrate that the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression within front-line healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients is high. Therefore, the health policy-makers should take measures to control and prevent mental disorders in the Hospital staff.
Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Depression; Healthcare workers; Stress.