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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Use of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) Questionnaire to Assess Levels of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in Healthcare and Administrative Staff in 5 Oncology Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic

Inga Marijanović, Marija Kraljević, Teo Buhovac, Timur Cerić, Alma Mekić Abazović, Jasmina Alidžanović, Zdenka Gojković, Emir Sokolović

Oncology Clinic, University Clinical Hospital Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e930812

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.930812

Available online: 2021-02-17

Published: 2021-04-19


BACKGROUND: Providing oncology services during a pandemic can contribute to mental health challenges among healthcare workers. The present study aimed to evaluate the levels of depression, anxiety, and stress in healthcare and administrative staff in 5 oncology institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in 2020 during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) questionnaire.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional observational study enrolled 175 healthcare and administrative workers from 5 oncology institutions in BiH during December 2020. Data were collected using a questionnaire that captured general information about the participants and a DASS-21 questionnaire.
RESULTS: Statistical analysis revealed a statistically significant difference in the levels of depression, anxiety, and stress (P=0.003, P=0.011, and P=0.022, respectively) among participants with comorbidities connected with increased risk of severe illness caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) compared with participants without comorbidities. There was also a statistically significant difference in the levels of stress among participants from different cities (P=0.031). Supplement intake and educational level were significantly related (P=0.012). High levels of stress and anxiety were accompanied by high levels of depression among participants (P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings from the present study showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on depression, anxiety, and stress levels in oncology staff in BiH. Monitoring these levels and providing interventions and support to oncology staff are increasingly important for their wellbeing and retention at a time of global crisis in healthcare.

Keywords: Anxiety, COVID-19, Depression, Medical Oncology, Medical Staff, Stress, Psychological