Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Coping Strategies among Nurses of A National Guard Hospital During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional StudyAuthor(s): Rami Ghazi Ahmad, Amal I. Khalil*, Saleh Almuntashiri, Jumanah Qedair and Ali Alsudais
Background: Nurses are well known to suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress due to their profession. Nurses worldwide faced an unusual situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic: they were expected to adopt effective coping strategies.
Aim: To examine the hospital-based nurses' coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their levels of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.
Method: The study utilized a cross-sectional design to recruit 230 nurses conveniently from Jeddah's National Guard Tertiary Hospital. Nurses working at this hospital were asked to complete an online survey during the COVID-19 pandemic from September 22, 2021, to March 27, 2022. In this study, three tools were used: Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). In order to determine statistical significance, we used a p-value of 0.05 and a 95% confidence interval (95% CI). The Internal Review Board (IRB) approved the study. Participants were informed that no identifier information was required and that their responses would remain anonymous, except for authorized access. Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Shapiro-Wilk tests were used to assess data normality. P 0.0001 for both tests was found for all data.
Results: A total of 43.0% of nurses responded to DASS-21, 46.5% reported anxiety, and 25.2% reported stress. Behavioral disengagement was the most commonly used coping mechanism, while self-blame and denial were associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Acceptance and positive reframing were the most effective protective mechanisms against depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Religious nurses experienced milder effects of anxiety symptoms.
Conclusion: Nurses working at a Saudi tertiary hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, which correlated with their coping skills. Therefore, it is suggested that healthy coping strategies for maintaining well-being in stressful situations, such as working during pandemics, are essential.