CC BY 4.0 · Journal of Health and Allied Sciences NU 2023; 13(02): 233-240
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1751067
Original Article

Awareness, Psychological State, and Coping Skills among the Frontline Doctors during the COVID-19 Pandemic—A Cross-Sectional Study

Mittal Apurva
1   Department of Psychiatry, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
1   Department of Psychiatry, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Santosh Prabhu
1   Department of Psychiatry, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Shrinivasa Bhat U
1   Department of Psychiatry, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE (deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Background Frontline doctors managing the current novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic work under stressful conditions due to change in workload, working pattern, and worries about the infection to themselves and families with frequently changing treatment protocols. Their psychological well-being is necessary for the effective management of the health crisis.

Objectives This study aims to assess the psychological state and worries of frontline doctors while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the various coping skills employed by them for maintaining their mental health, and the knowledge about illness and related myths and misinformation among them. A further objective is to compare the above between two groups of frontline doctors: the consultants and the junior residents (JR) working in the hospital.

Materials and Methods A total of 164 participants (76 consultants and 88 JRs) were cross-sectionally evaluated online using a prevalidated questionnaire within a period of 3 months after obtaining institutional ethics approval

Statistical Analysis The study sample and results were described using descriptive analysis. The association between the categorical variables was measured using chi-squared test.

Results Most participants frequently updated themselves through reliable sources (consultants = 92%, JR = 73.9%) predominantly from the hospital task force and university. Overall, 71% of consultants and 58% of JRs were worried about being infected. JRs were significantly more worried about the spread of infection due to faulty sterilization of the protective equipment as compared to the consultants (p = 0.031). Most participants were worried about their families getting infected (consultants = 79%, JR =89.8%). Both consultants (18.4%) and JRs (35.2%) had sleep disturbances. Although most did not have syndromal depressive features and COVID-19-related anxiety, tiredness (45.1%) and worrying too much (47.5%) were the most common psychological symptoms. Almost all participants (consultants = 76.3%, JR = 80.7%) used multiple coping styles, such as avoiding thinking about COVID-19, listening to music, and physical activities.

Conclusion Frontline doctors overall reported higher worries regarding their family being infected and protective equipment-related issues, whereas they had less core depressive and anxiety symptoms. They had adequate COVID-19-related awareness and used multiple coping skills.

Publication History

Article published online:
19 July 2022

© 2022. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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