This study aimed to assess the frequency of sleep and mood disturbances, and their association with COVID-like symptoms in healthcare workers (HCWs) with and without positive Coronavirus RT-PCR in a corona referral center.
This study was a cross-sectional, anonymous survey of adult HCWs. Data collection was performed in May and June 2020, while governmental restrictions were in place. The participants completed the forms including six separate parts: personal and occupational information, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient’s Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and COVID-like symptoms and Coronavirus RT-PCR status.
Among the 372 HCW participants, 245 (66%) were women and  mean age was 34.5 ± 7.1 years (age range 23 to 58). The mean scores of all questionnaires except ISI were significantly higher in the HCWs with positive Coronavirus RT-PCR than another group (PSQI, 9 ± 3.4 vs. 6.9 ± 3.1; GAD-7, 9.8 ± 3.6 vs. 7.9 ± 5.3; PHQ-9, 12.8 ± 6.1 vs. 9.5 ± 6.4, P < 0.05; and ISI, 13.8 ± 5.3 vs. 12.3 ± 6 P = 0.163). Positive association between COVID-like symptoms and sleep and mood disturbances was found in the group without a positive test result. Analysis of questionnaires showed higher scores in the group directly involved except for ISI (P < 0.001 and P = 0.053 respectively).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCWs in this sample experienced a high rate of sleep and mood disturbances. There was also a strong association between sleep and mood disturbances and COVID-like symptoms in the group without a positive RT-PCR result. With all this considered, effective psychological support for HCWs during crisis seems to be necessary.