Mental health status of healthcare professionals and students of health sciences faculties in Kuwait during the COVID-19 pandemic

Zahra Alsairafi, Abdallah Naser , Fatemah M. Alsaleh, Abdelmoneim Awad , Zahraa Jalal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: This study aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health status of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and undergraduate students in the health sciences center (HSCUs). In addition, it explored the factors associated with the increased levels of mental health burden among the study population. 
Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed using two online-administered questionnaires: the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7), which were distributed in parallel to HCPs and HSCUs in Kuwait. These instruments are validated assessment scales to assess mental health status: depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7). Statistical analyses were carried out using SPSS- version 25. 
Results: A total of 857 individuals (559 HCPs and 298 HSCUs) participated in this study. The prevalence of moderately severe depression or severe depression (PHQ-9 total score of ≥15) among respondents was 66.6%. The median (interquartile range, IQR) PHQ-9 score was significantly higher among HSCUs (20 {11.5}) compared to HCPs (17 {8}). The prevalence of severe anxiety (GAD-7 total score of ≥15) among respondents was 36.7%. There were no significant differences between the median (IQR) GAD-7 scores among the HCPs (14 {7}) and HSCUs (13 {8}). Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that three variables were significantly and independently associated with severe depression among HCPs. The prevalence of severe depression was found to be greater among females compared to males. In addition, it was significantly lower among those who were aged ≥50 years, and those who reported that they were not in direct contact with COVID-19 patients. Among HSCUs, females showed greater depression than males. In contrast, those aged >29 years and who had no history of chronic disease showed lower depression compared to their counterparts in the 18–29 years age group and who had a chronic disease history. 
Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative impact on the mental health of HCPs and HSCUs in Kuwait. This highlights the need for proactive efforts to support their mental health and well-being through educational campaigns and psychological support programs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2203
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus disease
  • De-pression
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Kuwait
  • Mental health
  • Students
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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