Subjective burden and perspectives of German healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kramer, V., Papazova, I., Thoma, A., Kunz, M., Falkai, P., Schneider-Axmann, T., Hierundar, A., Wagner, E. & Hasan, A., 19-Aug-2020, In : European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Victoria Kramer
  • Irina Papazova
  • Andreas Thoma
  • Miriam Kunz
  • Peter Falkai
  • Thomas Schneider-Axmann
  • Anke Hierundar
  • Elias Wagner
  • Alkomiet Hasan

Healthcare workers (HCW) face tremendous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known about the subjective burden, views, and COVID-19 infection status of HCWs. The aim of this work was to evaluate the subjective burden, the perception of the information policies, and the agreement on structural measures in a large cohort of German HCW during the COVID-19 pandemic. This country-wide anonymous online survey was carried out from April 15th until May 1st, 2020. 25 content-related questions regarding the subjective burden and other dimensions were evaluated. We evaluated different dimensions of subjective burden, stress, and perspectives using 5-point Likert-scale questions. Moreover, the individual COVID-19 infection status, the amount of people infected in circle of friends and acquaintances and the hours working overtime were assessed. A total of 3669 HCWs provided sufficient responses for analyses. 2.8% of HCWs reported to have been tested positive for COVID-19. Nurses reported in principle higher ratings on all questions of subjective burden and stress than doctors and other hospital staff. Doctors (3.6%) and nurses (3.1%) were more likely to be tested positive for COVID-19 than other hospital staff (0.6%, Chi(2)2 = 17.39, p < 0.0005). HCWs who worked in a COVID-19 environment reported higher levels of subjective burden and stress compared to all other participants. Working in a COVID-19 environment increased the likelihood to be tested positive for COVID-19 (4.8% vs. 2.3%, Chi(1)2 = 12.62, p < 0.0005) and the severity of the subjective burden. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses experience more stress than doctors. Overall, German HCWs showed high scores of agreement with the measures taken by the hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Early online date19-Aug-2020
Publication statusPublished - 19-Aug-2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Stress, COVID-19, Pandemic, Personal burden, Depression, Anxiety

ID: 131869216