Racial & ethnic differences in mental health outcomes and risk factors among frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Celestine He, Nnamdi Igwe, Candida Damian, Adriana Feder, Jordyn Feingold, Jonathan Ripp, Robert Pietrzak, Lauren Peccoralo, Alicia Hurtado, Chi Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine racial/ethnic differences in mental health outcomes and risk factors during the COVID-19 pandemic among frontline healthcare workers (FHCWs). Methods: A survey was conducted on FHCWs at a large metropolitan hospital during winter 2021. Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms, demographic characteristics, and COVID-19-related occupational factors were assessed. Multivariable logistic regression examined factors associated with screening positive for psychiatric symptoms and their interactions with race/ethnicity. Results: Of 1437 FHCWs, 762 (53.0%) self-identified as white, 451 (31.4%) as Asian, 118 (8.2%) as Black, and 106 (7.4%) as Latinx. Black FHCWs had a higher prevalence of screening positive for depression (18.6%) than other groups (6.6%–11.7%, p < .05). Significant risk factors by race/ethnicity interactions indicated that having cared for patients who died from COVID-19 increased risk of psychiatric symptoms among white and Black individuals, having to make difficult decisions prioritizing patients increased risk most significantly among white and Asian individuals, and working more hours increased risk most significantly among Latinx individuals. Conclusion: Results suggest that occupational stressors may have differential impacts on mental health among racial/ethnic groups of FHCWs. Findings provide insight on subgroups with increased vulnerability to certain risk factors and inform interventions to improve mental health in diverse FHCWs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Volume85
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Healthcare workers
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Race and ethnicity

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