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Dublin hospital workers' mental health during the peak of Ireland's COVID-19 pandemic

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posted on 03.08.2022, 15:14 authored by Conan Brady, Caoimhe Fenton, Orlaith Loughran, Blanaid HayesBlanaid Hayes, Martina Hennessy, Agnes Higgins, Declan M McLoughlin

Background: Hospital-based healthcare workers have experienced significant psychological stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aim: To evaluate the mental health of hospital workers during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Dublin, Ireland.

Methods: Cross-sectional anonymous online survey of hospital workers (n = 377; 181 doctors (48.0%), 166 nurses (44.0%), 30 radiographers (8.0%)), collecting demographic information, COVID-19 exposure history and mental health measures.

Results: There were significant differences between profession groups in gender, experience, COVID-19 infection history, exposure to COVID-19 positive acquaintances, and work areas. Moderate-severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were found in 45.1% (95% CI 40.1-50.1%) of all participants; significantly fewer doctors reported moderate-severe PTSD symptoms (26%; 95% CI 22-36%). A World Health Organisation-5 Wellbeing Index (WHO-5) score ≤ 32, indicating low mood, was reported by 52% (95% CI 47-57%) of participants; significantly fewer doctors reported low mood (46%; 95% CI 39-53%). One-week suicidal ideation and planning were reported respectively by 13% (95% CI 10-16%) and 5% (95% CI 3-7%) of participants with no between-group differences. Doctors reported significantly less moral injury than other groups. There were no significant between-group differences regarding coping styles. Work ability was insufficient in 39% (95% CI 34-44%) of staff; no between-group differences.

Conclusions: Dublin hospital workers reported high levels of PTSD symptoms, mood disturbance, and moral injury during the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerning levels of suicidal ideation and planning existed in this cohort. Differences in degrees of post-traumatic stress, moral injury, and wellbeing were found between profession groups, which should be considered when planning any supports.


Open Access funding provided by the IReL Consortium



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Brady C, et al. Dublin hospital workers' mental health during the peak of Ireland's COVID-19 pandemic. Ir J Med Sci. 2022:1–10.

Publication Date

22 June 2022

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital


Springer Nature


  • Published Version (Version of Record)