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Supplementary Material for: Does Pandemic Anxiety Affect Urology Health Care Workers?

posted on 21.01.2021, 07:20 by Apfelbeck M., Staehler M., Rodler S., Stredele R., Chaloupka M., Mumm J.-N., Buchner A., Stief C., Casuscelli J.
Purpose: To assess anxiety, stress level, and perception of safety during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in health care workers (HCWs) of one of Germany’s largest urology university clinics. Methods: A cross-sectional study among urological HCWs was performed. HCWs were surveyed for anxiety about the pandemic, stress level and current workload, fear of coronavirus infection, current perception of safety at work, and attitude towards protective equipment and tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Results: Sixty-three HCWs filled in the questionnaire. Overall anxiety of infection with CO­VID-19 is at a median of 4.7 with no statistically significant difference between nurses and physicians (p = 0.0749). Safety at work reaches a median of 6 out of 10. In fact, the highest fear in 56.7% (31/63) of the personnel is to get infected by a colleague tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 despite wearing surgical face masks. A proportion of 55.7 and 74.6% highly favor swabs for SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis in HCWs and patients, respectively (p = 0.0001). Workload in the urology department is clearly reduced during the pandemic (physicians 39.3% vs. nurses 32.2%, p = 0.0001) and 57.4% do not feel distress at all; only 27.9% express mental distress. Conclusion: During the pandemic, urology HCWs perceive lower burden by workload and deem themselves at low risk of infection. However, the greatest anxiety is related to infection by a SARS-CoV-2-positive colleague, despite reciprocal protection by surgical face masks. This highlights a relevant mental stress and uncertainty towards management of infected HCWs, calling for increased education and psychological support.