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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-16

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Omicron variant and psychological distress among frontline nurses in a major COVID-19 center: Implications for supporting psychological well-being

Department of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajesh Kumar
Department of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jopcs.jopcs_22_22

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Background: Coronavirus outbreak severely affected the psychological health of frontline health-care workers, including nurses. Nurses relatively face many more psychological problems compared to other health-care workers. This study aimed to assess nurses' fear, stress, and anxiety status during the Omicron, a new variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, outbreak in India. Materials and Methods: This questionnaire survey included 350 frontline nurses working at a tertiary care teaching hospital in North India. The information was collected using the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale, Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and Fear of COVID-19 Scale. Nurses working in the hospital since COVID-19 outbreak were included in the study. Appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to compute the results. Results: Nurses hospitalized after contracting an infection (odds ratio [OR] – 3.492, 95% confidence interval – 1.644–9.442, P < 0.002) and attended training on COVID-19 (OR – 2.644, 95% CI – 1.191–5.870, P < 0.017) reported high distress than their counterparts. Likewise, nurses hospitalized after contracting an infection (β = 3.862, P < 0.001 vs. β = 2.179, P < 0.001) and have no training exposure on COVID-19 management and care (β = 2.536, P = 0.001 vs. β = 0.670, P = 0.039) reported higher fear and anxiety, respectively. Likewise, married participants (β = 1.438, P < 0.036) who lost their friends and colleagues in the pandemic (β = 0.986, P = 0.020) reported being more frightened and anxious. Conclusions: Participants reported experiencing psychological burdens, especially nurses hospitalized after contracting an infection and who lost their friends and colleagues to COVID-19. High psychological distress may be a potential indicator of future psychiatric morbidity. Authors recommend a variant-specific training to improve nurses' mental health to combat the pandemic.

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