June 28, 2021

CDC: More than half of public HCWs experienced mental health symptoms during COVID-19 pandemic

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This survey of 26,174 public healthcare workers (HCWs) from March 29 to April 16, 2021, by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), finds that 53% had experienced at least one mental health condition in the previous 2 weeks.

Prevalences of symptoms were:


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  • depression: 32%
  • anxiety: 30.3%
  • PTSD: 36.8%
  • suicidal ideation: 8.4%.

The highest prevalences of symptoms were among those who:

  • were aged 29 years or less, and transgender or nonbinary persons of all ages
  • identified as multiple races
  • worked more than 60 hours per week
  • were not able to take leave from work
  • spent the majority of their time in COVID-19 wards
  • had post-baccalaureate graduate education.

Addressing work practices that contribute to stress and trauma is crucial to managing HCWs’ adverse mental health status during emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers say.

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