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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effects of the infection prevention and control measures on the mental health of healthcare workers in Canada Huang, Yike


BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are vulnerable to infection and emotional distress when providing treatment during a pandemic. The safety of healthcare workers (HCWs) is of the utmost significance. The pandemic of COVID-19 has significantly altered the global workplace environment and healthcare work routines. Appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) methods and sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) may increase HCWs’ mental well-being. In contrast, insufficient IPC practices and PPE supply at the workplace may result in negative psychological consequences. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the proposed study was to clarify the psychological impacts of IPC methods during the pervasiveness of COVID-19 on healthcare workers across Canada and examine the relationship between PPE and the impact on the mental health of HCWs. METHODS: From November 2020 to December 2020, a web-based survey published by Statistics Canada was conducted to collect data from approximately 18,000 healthcare workers in 34 sites across Canada. A cross-sectional study targeting nationwide healthcare workers in Canada was conducted based on the national survey above. Bivariable analyses examined the association between mental health outcomes and exposure variables among healthcare workers, while regression analyses measured the strength of associations. RESULTS: HCWs that reported having more than three inadequate PPE items from their workplace were more likely to report fair or poor perceived mental health (OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.79, 3.19; P<0.001), somewhat or much worse now compared to before the pandemic (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.48, 3.19; P< 0.001) and quite a bit or extremely stress (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.18, 6.42; P= 0.05). HCWs having “masks for patients” introduced were less likely to report worse mental health compared to before the pandemic (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.74,0.90; P< 0.001) and HCWs having “masks for patients” introduced were less likely to report stress (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.50, 0.93; P= 0.02). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures and personal protective equipment supply can significantly impact healthcare workers' mental health. As the pandemic continues, healthcare institutions and organizations should recognize the significance of providing HCWs with appropriate IPC measures and adequate PPE.

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