Predictors of critical care nurses’ stress, anxiety, and depression in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic directly affects the psychological well-being of critical care nurses. Several studies had investigated the psychological impact of the pandemic on nurses caring for patients with COVID-19, but few were conducted to identify the predictors of this impact.

Aims and objectives: The objective of this study is to identify the predictors of critical care nurses’ stress, anxiety, and depression in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in five intensive care units in five hospitals in Alexandria, Egypt.

Methods: An online questionnaire was distributed. It included socio-demographic and work-related data and the depression, anxiety, and stress scale scores of the nurses under study. A multiple linear regression model was developed to identify the predictors of critical care nurses’ stress, anxiety, and depression in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: Two hundred (64%) of 308 nurses completed the electronic questionnaire. Significant predictors of stress included the number of infected colleagues (P < .001) and availability of hospital resources (P = .01). Significant predictors of anxiety were age, gender, satisfactory income (P < .001), years of experience, time spent caring for patients with COVID-19 (P = .04), continuous training, number of infected colleagues (P = .01), and availability of hospital resources (P = .02). Finally, significant predictors of depression included gender, history of physical problems (P = .04), educational attainment, availability of hospital resources, history of psychological problems (P < .001), and number of infected colleagues (P = .001). Conclusion: The hospital's lack of human and physical resources and the number of colleagues infected with COVID-19 were the strongest predictors of stress, anxiety, and depression among nurses. Relevance to clinical practice: Identifying the predictors of stress, anxiety, and depression among nurses who care for patients with COVID-19 is a vital step in developing mental health promotion strategies to support nurses during this pandemic.