THE PREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS OF SELF-REPORTED COMMON MENTAL DISORDERS AMONGST DOCTORS AND DENTISTS DURING THE FIRST WAVE OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM.
Hilda Ho1, Fariza Sani1, Najib Naibi2.
1Psychiatry Services, Ministry of Health, Brunei.
2Primary Healthcare Services, Ministry of Health, Brunei.
Introduction: Healthcare workers are at high risk of mental health problems, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study evaluates the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems and their associated factors, amongst doctors and dentists before and during the first wave of the pandemic in Brunei in 2020. Methods: All 729 doctors and dentists who were registered to work in the government health service were invited to complete an online survey to collect data on demographics, mental health and work environment. Participants were asked to complete the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 items (DASS-21) and the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OBI). A combined total DASS-21 score of 34 or greater was used as the primary outcome measure indicating the presence of a common mental disorder. Results: A total of 312 doctors and dentists participated, achieving a response rate of 42.80%. Sixty-seven (21.47%) participants were found to have a common mental disorder. Univariate analyses found that younger, female, unmarried, local permanently employed participants, those who were in training, and those who had experienced previous mental health problems had significantly higher rates of common mental disorders during the pandemic. Multi-variate analyses found that being permanently employed and having previous mental health problems were the significant independent predictors of common mental disorders. Two hundred and sixty-six (85.26%) participants scored a high or medium level of burnout on the OBI. Conclusion: Almost a quarter of government doctors and dentists who participated in the study were found to have a common mental disorder during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei in 2020. The findings of this study should inform the development of a strategic plan to protect workplace mental health.
Keywords: Brunei, COVID-19 pandemic, DASS-21, Dentists, Doctors, Mental health.
Corresponding author: Dr Hilda Ho, Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychiatry Services, Ministry of Health, Simpang 253-79, Kiarong BE 1318, Brunei.
Email: email@example.com; Tel: (+673) 2454993.
Brunei Int Med J.2021;17:124-133