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Mental Health amongst Obstetricians and Gynaecologists during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results of a UK-wide study
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  • Neha Shah,
  • Ali Raheem,
  • Michail Sideris,
  • Luxmi Velauthar,
  • Ferha Saeed
Neha Shah
Newham University Hospital NHS Trust
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Ali Raheem
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
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Michail Sideris
Queen Mary University of London
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Luxmi Velauthar
Newham University Hospital NHS Trust
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Ferha Saeed
Newham University Hospital NHS Trust
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Abstract

Objective To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Study Design We performed a survey-based study from doctors working in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology across all Hospitals in United Kingdom. Surveyed information included demographics, past history of mental health conditions, screening for current symptoms of depression and anxiety, the significance of contributory factors and the effects of mental health on workplace behaviour. Results 207 doctors completed the survey. Of the respondents, 22.2% (n=46) had previously received treatment for a mental health condition. During the COVID-19 pandemic, O&G doctors as compared to UK-wide population estimate, reported significantly higher rates of both Major Depressive Disorder (15.94% versus 3.3%, p=0.023) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (24.64% versus 5.9%, p=0.044). Sub-group analysis showed that anxiety was more common amongst female doctors as compared to males (27.5% versus 12.50%, p=0.047). Respondents felt that the most significant factors for work-related changes to mental health was keeping up to date with frequently changing guidelines and protocols related to COVID-19. Only 38.65% of respondents agreed that they felt able to talk to colleagues about their mental health. Conclusions This is the first reported study that assesses the impact of COVID-19 on mental health amongst Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Further research should focus on assessing if changes in the way rapidly changing guidelines and protocols are disseminated reduces the impact on mental health. Ongoing efforts are also needed to improve support networks and encourage normality around discussing mental health amongst doctors