1. Apr 13, 2021

Mental health of eye care professionals impacted by COVID-19

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).

Reference
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.