The Association between the Perceived Adequacy of Workplace Infection Control Procedures and Personal Protective Equipment with Mental Health Symptoms: A Cross-sectional Survey of Canadian Health-care Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: L’association entre le caractère adéquat perçu des procédures de contrôle des infections au travail et de l’équipement de protection personnel pour les symptômes de santé mentale. Un sondage transversal des travailleurs de la santé canadiens durant la pandémie COVID-19 Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Objectives: To examine the relationship between perceived adequacy of personal protective equipment (PPE) and workplace-based infection control procedures (ICP) and mental health symptoms among a sample of health-care workers in Canada within the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A convenience-based internet survey of health-care workers in Canada was facilitated through various labor organizations between April 7 and May 13, 2020. A total of 7,298 respondents started the survey, of which 5,988 reported information on the main exposures and outcomes. Anxiety symptoms were assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-2) screener, and depression symptoms using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) screener. We assessed the perceived need and adequacy of 8 types of PPE and 10 different ICP. Regression analyses examined the proportion of GAD-2 and PHQ-2 scores of 3 and higher across levels of PPE and ICP, adjusted for a range of demographic, occupation, workplace, and COVID-19-specific measures. Results: A total of 54.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 53.5% to 56.1%) of the sample had GAD-2 scores of 3 and higher, and 42.3% (95% CI, 41.0% to 43.6%) of the sample had PHQ-2 scores of 3 and higher. Absolute differences of 18% (95% CI, 12% to 23%) and 17% (95% CI, 12% to 22%) were observed in the prevalence of GAD-2 scores of 3 and higher between workers whose perceived PPE needs and ICP needs were met compared to those who needs were not met. Differences of between 11% (95% CI, 6% to 17%) and 19% (95% CI, 14% to 24%) were observed in PHQ-2 scores of 3 and higher across these same PPE and ICP categories. Conclusions: Our results suggest strengthening employer-based infection control strategies likely has important implications for the mental health symptoms among health-care workers in Canada.

authors

  • Smith, Peter M
  • Oudyk, John
  • Potter, Guy
  • Mustard, Cameron

publication date

  • January 2021

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