THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID–19) PANDEMIC ON WORK AND MENTAL HEALTH OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS
Aim of the study. To assess GPs working conditions, the format of consultations and their impact on GPs mental health during the COVID–19 pandemic. Objective. 1. To determine the alteration of working format and conditions of GPs, during COVID–19 pandemic. 2. To evaluate the alteration of patients counseling principles in the work of GPs during COVID–19 pandemic. 3. To determine the factors which impact the anxiety of GPs during COVID–19 pandemic. 4. To assess the depressive symptoms level of GPs during COVID–19 pandemic. Methods and participants. The study was carried out between January 2021 and March 2021 by applying an online anonymous survey to GPs. The original Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is used to assess the level of depression. Results and conclusion: the study involved 300 general practitioners. For more than half of respondents the number of working
hours increased during COVID–19 pandemic, 58,7% answered that the salary did not change. During COVID–19 pandemic, the number of contact consultations for GPs has decreased significantly (86.3%) and the number of remote consultations has increased for almost all respondents. Due to alteration of working format, the majority of GPs responded that the number of working staff (78.7%) and electronic devices (72.3%) remained unchanged at their workplaces. Only 16.0% of GPs were ensured with all the recommended conditions to assure the safety of staff and patients. For 38,8% of
respondents the duration of remote consultations elongated, but their quality (49,3%) deteriorated more than contact consultation (36,3%). The deteriorating quality of the remote consultations was mainly due to difficult assessment of patient’s condition, also determination of diagnosis. Contact consultations quality deteriorated because of disturbance of other patient’s calls. Despite the changement of quality, during remote
consultation GPs almost always (18,7%) or often (74,7%) managed to solve patients’ problems. During COVID–19 pandemic, only 4,7% of GPs did not experience anxiety. Respondents were most worried about the risk of relatives to become infected (87,0%) and about working conditions (85,3%). GPs were most likely to experience mild (32,3%), moderate (25,7%) and minimal (23,7%) symptoms of depression.