FRONT-LINE HEALTH CARE PERSONNEL ON COVID-19 DUTY – AN INTERVIEW-BASED CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
Gunjan Mundhra, Srabani Bhattacharya* and Sundaram Kartikeyan
This cross-sectional interview-based descriptive study was conducted on 315 frontline health care personnel (females: 137; 43.49%; males: 178; 56.51%), using chain sampling technique. Significant gender-wise differences were observed in age groups of ≤30 years (Z=5.776; p<0.0001); 31-40 years (Z=2.832; p=0.004); and ≥51 years (Z=3.500; p=0.0004). 26 (18.98%) females and 41 (23.03%) males tested COVID positive, without significant gender difference (Z=1.197; p=0.231) in their mean duration of duty. There was no significant gender difference in the frequency of hospitalization (Z=0.468; p=0.638) or in the mean duration of hospitalization (Z=0.426; p=0.670) or in self-reported history of close contact with COVID positive person outside the workplace (Z=0.643; p=0.522). Significant gender difference (Z=2.169; p=0.03) was observed in use of hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis. Males had a significantly (Z=2.049; p=0.040) higher frequency of diabetes mellitus. Among those who tested COVID positive, more females (Z=2.817; p=0.004) were aymptomatic, whereas significantly more males had muscle / body ache (Z=2.103; p=0.035) and fever or chills (Z=6.230; p<0.0001). Unambiguous and timely communication to actively combat misinformation, perceptible support from seniors, screening personnel for mental health vulnerabilities, proactively tackling stigma and job-related stress are some of the interventions for mitigating problems faced by frontline health care personnel.
Keywords: Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, Frontline, Health care personnel.
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