The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the level of depression among health care workers: Cross-sectional study

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Background: The outbreak of the novel Corona Virus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly to many countries leading to thousands of deaths globally. The burden of this pandemic has affected the physical and mental health of the frontline health care workers (HCWs) who are exposed to high risk of infection and psychological stressors. Aims: The aim is to measure the level of depression among healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia during COVID-19 pandemic to establish interventional strategies. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study was used to conduct the current study. The data of this study was recruited between 15 June and 15 July 2020 from healthcare providers who work in both public and private healthcare sectors in Riyadh and Eastern province in Saudi Arabia utilizing a self-Administered questionnaire. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group (IRB Log No. RC20.06.88-2). Data were collected by using The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale SDS. A total of 900 healthcare providers working in the healthcare setting during COVID-19 pandemic were invited to participate in the study. A total of 650 healthcare providers participated in the study by completing and submitting the survey. Results: Almost 30% suffered from depression which can be divided into three categories; mild depression (26.2%), moderate/major (2.5%) and severe/extreme (0.8%). The finding shows that the level of depression among respondents at the age range of 31 40 years old was significantly higher than the level of depression among respondents with the age above 50 years old. Non-Saudi healthcare workers experienced more depression than Saudi workers. It also shows how nurses suffered from depression compared to their physician colleagues. Those who did not suffer from sleeping disorder perceived more depression as compared to those who are having sleeping disorder. Conclusion: It is recommended that health care facilities should implement strategies to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems among healthcare providers and eventually it will improve their performance in provision of safe and high-quality care for patients.

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