Psychological Distress of Healthcare Workers in Québec (Canada) During the Second and the Third Pandemic Waves

J Occup Environ Med. 2022 Jun 1;64(6):495-503. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002487. Epub 2022 Jan 19.


Objective: We aimed to measure the prevalence of psychological distress among Quebec healthcare workers (HCWs) during the second and third pandemic waves and to assess the effect of psychosocial risk factors (PSRs) on work-related psychological distress among severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infected (cases) and non-infected (controls) HCWs.

Methods: A self-administered survey was used to measure validated indicators of psychological distress (K6 scale) and PSR (questions based on Karasek and Siegrist models, value conflicts, and work-life balance). Adjusted robust Poisson models were used to estimate prevalence ratios.

Results: Four thousand sixty eight cases and 4152 controls completed the survey. Prevalence of high work-related psychological distress was 42%; it was associated with PSRs (mainly work-life balance, value conflicts, and high psychological demands) but not with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Conclusion: Primary prevention measures targeting PSRs are needed to reduce mental health risks of HCWs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2