Prevalence of anxiety in health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid systematic review (on published articles in Medline) with meta-analysis

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2021 Apr 20;107:110244. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2021.110244. Epub 2021 Jan 14.


During the COVID-19, healthcare workers are exposed to a higher risk of mental health problems, especially anxiety symptoms. The current work aims at contributing to an update of anxiety prevalence in this population by conducting a rapid systematic review and meta-analysis. Medline and Pubmed were searched for studies on the prevalence of anxiety in health care workers published from December 1, 2019 to September 15, 2020. In total, 71 studies were included in this study. The pooled prevalence of anxiety in healthcare workers was 25% (95% CI: 21%-29%), 27% in nurses (95% CI: 20%-34%), 17% in medical doctors (95% CI: 12%-22%) and 43% in frontline healthcare workers (95% CI: 25%-62%). Our results suggest that healthcare workers are experiencing significant levels of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those on the frontline and nurses. However, international longitudinal studies are needed to fully understand the impact of the pandemic on healthcare workers' mental health, especially those working at the frontline.

Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Health care workers; Professional categories.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Personnel / trends
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Prevalence
  • Time Factors