The majority of eye care professionals who completed a 23-question survey experienced worsening mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a poster presented at the 2021 Virtual AAPOS Meeting.
The survey was completed by 887 optometrists, 252 ophthalmologists, 794 optometry students, and 185 eye care staff. Overall, 61.8% of respondents said that COVID 19 had a negative impact on their mental health, 25.4% said it had no impact on their mental health, and 12.6% said it had a positive impact on their mental health. On a scale of 1 to 5, participants reported significantly higher stress during COVID-19 compared to before (3.49 vs 2.86, P < 0.0001). Symptoms of depression, anxiety, or both were reported by 38.4% of the respondent.
Self-reported factors negatively impacting mental health included worries about family /friends being infected with COVID-19, worry about being infected with COVID-19 myself, and social isolation.
The authors concluded that risk factors for depression, anxiety, and psychological stress included female sex, young people, and minorities (Asians).
Jain SF, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on mental health in eye care professionals, staff and students. Poster presented at: 2021 Virtual AAPOS Meeting.