eISSN: 2300-6722
ISSN: 1899-1874
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne
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2/2021
vol. 37
 
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abstract:
Original paper

The prevalence and associated factors of anxiety and depression symptoms among critical care physicians

Katarzyna Białek
1

1.
Institute of Medical Sciences, Jan Kochanowski University, Collegium Medicum, Kielce, Poland
Medical Studies/Studia Medyczne 2021; 37 (2): 131–139
Online publish date: 2021/06/30
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Introduction
Working in a critical care unit environment may constitute a risk factor for depression and anxiety. Numerous studies have shown a high prevalence of these symptoms among medical critical care staff. Aim of the research: To assess the level of anxiety and depression and the prevalence of the most stressful factors related to work in the critical care unit.

Material and methods
A total of 89 physicians with various specialties working in critical care units were included. To evaluate the level of anxiety and depression, the standardized Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used.

Results
Low to moderate anxiety and depressive symptoms were observed in 25 (28.09%) and 26 (29.21%) respondents, respectively. The score reflecting probable depression and anxiety symptoms was noted in 18 (20.2%) and 10 (11.2%) respondents, respectively. The anxiety subscale HADS score was related to gender and professional experience. Age, professional experience, working overtime, and type of hospital were associated with the depression subscale HADS score. The most frequently endorsed stressful factors at work were as follows: the fear of committing an irreversible error (64.0%), the attitude of patients and their families toward medical staff (58.43%), and responsibility for another person’s life (56.2%). Regression analysis revealed that sex was the only variable influencing the anxiety subscale score. In the case of depression, no significant factor was identified.

Conclusions
Approximately 1 in 7 physicians presented symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. The next step could be to identify other factors influencing the level of depression and anxiety, focusing on critical care unit staff to prevent and reduce psychopathological symptoms.

keywords:

intensive care, critical care, physicians, anxiety, depression, stress

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