Fear of COVID-19, Stress and Coping Strategies among Nurses during the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Second Wave: A Quasi-Intervention Study



Doaa I. Omar1
iD
, Samar A. Amer2, 3, *
iD
, Abeer E. Abdelmaksoud4
1 Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt
2 Department of Public Health, and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt
3 Royal Colleague of General Practitioner (INT), London, United Kingdome
4 Department of Community, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, Egypt


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Creative Commons License
© 2023 Omar et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Public Health, and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt; Tel: +966561428493; E-mail: dr_samar11@yahoo.com


Abstract

Background:

The COVID-19 pandemic and its related consequences caused a higher risk of mental health problems for nurses. Hence, this study aims to reduce the level of fear and stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic and promote active coping among Egyptian nurses.

Methods:

This quasi-intervention study was conducted on 125 nurses working at Benha’s University hospitals, who were selected by a systematic random sampling technique within the time interval of March 2021 to July 2021. The study was conducted using the fear of COVID-19 scale, the stress scale of depression, anxiety and stress scales, and the Brief (COPE) inventory scale.

Results:

The mean ages of the studied nurses were 36.70 ± 9.50. Almost half of the studied nurses were males and married. Before the intervention, 47.2% of nurses had severe stress levels while 82.4% had a high level of fear of COVID-19. Experience years, type of department, and worries about vaccine side effects were the predictors of the fear of COVID-19. A significant difference (p = .000) was found between both mean stress and fear scores pre-intervention (15.27 ± 5.47 and 25.56 ± 6.13) and post-intervention (4.87 ± 2.14 and 11.92 ± 2.43). The most prevalent coping strategies among nurses before the intervention were self-distraction (5.03 ± 1.53), followed by behavioral disengagement and self-blaming. However, after the intervention, religion was found to be the utmost coping mechanism (6.12 ± 1.17), followed by positive reframing and acceptance.

Conclusion:

The majority of the nurses in the study reported a significant fear of COVID-19, and around half of the nurses had severe stress as a result. After the intervention, the stress and fear scores were reduced by half or even less. Age, longer work experience, and worries about the vaccine were the predictors of fear of COVID-19. The coping strategies used after the intervention shifted toward active coping strategies.

Clinical Trial Registration Number: 10-11-008-701

Keywords: Stress, Fear of COVID-19, Coping, Nurses, University hospitals, Pandemic.