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Sources of Sleep Disturbances and Psychological Strain for Hospital Staff Working during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Abstract: Hospital staff members reported increased stress-related workload when caring for inpatients with COVID-19 (“frontline hospital staff members”). Here, we tested if depression, anxiety, and stress were associated with poor sleep and lower general health, and if social support mediated these associations. Furthermore, we compared current insomnia scores and general health scores with normative data. A total of 321 full-time frontline hospital staff members (mean age: 36.86; 58% females) took part in the study during the COVID-19 pandemic. They completed a series of questionnaires covering demographic and work-related information, symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, social support, self-efficacy, and symptoms of insomnia and general health. Higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were associated with higher symptoms of insomnia and lower general health. Higher scores of depression, anxiety, and stress directly predicted higher insomnia scores and lower general health scores, while the indirect effect of social support was modest. Compared to normative data, full-time frontline hospital staff members had a 3.14 higher chance to complain about insomnia and a significantly lower general health. Symptoms of insomnia and general health were unrelated to age, job experience, educational level, and gender. Given this background, it appears that the working context had a lower impact on individuals’ well-being compared to individual characteristics.
Keywords: hospital staff members / COVID-19 / depression / anxiety / stress / self-efficacy / social support / insomnia

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