Depression, anxiety, and burnout among psychiatrists during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study in Beijing, China.

Publication date: Jul 10, 2023

With the rise of reported mental disorders and behavioral issues after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, psychiatrists and mental health care are urgently needed more than ever before. The psychiatric career carries a high emotional burden and stressful demands, which bring issues on psychiatrists’ mental health and well-being into question. To investigate the prevalence and risk factors of depression, anxiety, and work burnout among psychiatrists in Beijing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-sectional survey was conducted from January 6 to January 30, 2022, two years after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Recruitment was performed using a convenience sample approach by sending online questionnaires to psychiatrists in Beijing. The symptoms of depression, anxiety, and burnout were evaluated using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), and Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS). The perceived stress and social support were measured by the Chinese Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS) and Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS), respectively. The data of 564 psychiatrists (median [interquartile range] age, 37 [30-43] years old) of all 1532 in Beijing were included in the statistical analysis. The prevalence of symptoms of depression, anxiety and burnout were 33. 2% (95% CI, 29. 3-37. 1%, PHQ-9 ≥ 5), 25. 4% (95% CI, 21. 8-29. 0%, GAD-7 ≥ 5) and 40. 6% (95% CI, 36. 5-44. 7%, MBI-GS ≥ 3 in each of the three subdimensions), respectively. The psychiatrist with a higher score on perceived stress was more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratios [ORs]: 4. 431 [95%CI, 2. 907-6. 752]); the anxiety symptoms (adjusted ORs: 8. 280 [95%CI, 5. 255-13. 049]), and the burnout conditions (adjusted ORs: 9. 102 [95%CI, 5. 795-14. 298]). Receiving high social support was an independent protective factor against symptoms of depression (adjusted ORs: 0. 176 [95%CI, [0. 080-0. 386]), anxiety (adjusted ORs: 0. 265 [95%CI, 0. 111-0. 630]) and burnout (adjusted ORs: 0. 319 [95%CI, 0. 148-0. 686]). Our data suggest a considerable proportion of psychiatrists also suffer from depression, anxiety, and burnout. Perceived stress and social support influence depression, anxiety, and burnout. For public health, we must work together to reduce the pressure and increase social support to mitigate mental health risks in psychiatrists.

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Concepts Keywords
Burnout Anxiety symptoms
China Burnout
Coronavirus COVID-19
Psychiatry Depressive symptoms
Mental health


Type Source Name
disease MESH burnout
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH mental disorders
disease MESH Anxiety Disorder
pathway REACTOME Reproduction
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
disease VO population
disease VO effective
disease VO monthly
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease IDO process
disease MESH suicide
disease MESH syndrome
disease MESH anhedonia
disease MESH suicidal ideation
disease MESH insomnia
disease MESH major depressive disorder
disease MESH depersonalization
drug DRUGBANK Ademetionine
disease VO device
disease IDO history
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease MESH schizophrenia
disease MESH bipolar disorder
disease MESH depressive disorder
disease MESH obsessive compulsive disorder
drug DRUGBANK Ethanol
disease MESH drug dependence
disease MESH marital status
disease VO age
disease MESH Emergency
disease VO time
disease VO report
disease MESH Lifestyle
disease VO efficiency
disease MESH occupational stress
drug DRUGBANK Indoleacetic acid
drug DRUGBANK (S)-Des-Me-Ampa
drug DRUGBANK Ranitidine
pathway KEGG Coronavirus disease
drug DRUGBANK Cysteamine
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK Hydrocortisone
drug DRUGBANK Guanosine

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