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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 569-575

The mental well-being of physicians in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic

1 Department of Accident and Emergency, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Kaduna State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
4 Association of Medical Students of the University of Lagos Secretariat, College Library Alley, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
5 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Delta State, Nigeria
6 Department of Community Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
7 Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Delta State, Nigeria
8 Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital and Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Dabota Yvonne Buowari
Department of Accident and Emergency, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_52_22

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Background: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has caused a crisis in healthcare systems worldwide. Doctors are on the frontline in the fight against this war. The frontline workers are putting in all their efforts and skills to caring for patients who have contracted this novel contagious virus. The mental well-being of doctors is important. The SARS-CoV-2 has become a nosocomial infection and occupational hazard to healthcare workers. Aim: The aim is to investigate the mental well-being of doctors' practicing in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: This is part of a larger study. It is a cross-sectional survey carried out among doctors in Nigeria. Two questionnaires were adapted and used for this which included the World Health Organisation (WHO-5) well-being index, a validated and reliable short questionnaire on mental well-being. Participants in the study were recruited online. The research populations are doctors and dentists working in Nigeria. Results: The participants were 302 comprising 195 (64.6%) women doctors. The mean WHO well-being index for women was 69.90 ± 18.81, t = 3.295; P = 0.001 which was statistically significant. Multiple regression analysis of predictors of WHO well-being among medical doctors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic for the female gender coefficient = −4.384; P = 0.048. The female gender was a predictor of poor well-being. Conclusion: The mental well-being of doctors is very important. Female doctors had significantly lower mental well-being compared to their male counterparts. Physicians should have access to psychological support from their employers regularly.

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