Relationship between Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms and Anxiety Levels during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Healthcare Professionals vs. Non-Healthcare Professionals

Kurhan F., Kamis G. Z., Cim E. F. A., ATLİ A., Dinc D.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION, vol.24, no.3, pp.399-413, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.32604/ijmhp.2022.019013
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL
  • Page Numbers: pp.399-413
  • Keywords: Pandemic, healthcare professionals, non-healthcare professionals, obsessive behavior, PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT, DISORDER SYMPTOMS, SARS, WORKERS
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


The present study investigated the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on anxiety levels, contamination and responsibility/control obsessions and associated OC behaviors in healthcare versus non-healthcare professionals. The study also aimed to examine the relationship between anxiety levels and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptom levels, gender, age, educational level, and personal and family history of chronic diseases. The 664 participants included 395 (59.5%) men and 269 (40.5%) women and comprised 180 (27.1%) healthcare professionals and 484 (72.9%) non-healthcare professionals. The survey included three data collection tools: (i) Sociodemographic data form, (ii) Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAD, and (iii) the Dimensional Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Abriged (DOCS-A) pre- and post-pandemic forms. The BAI scores established a moderate positive correlation with post-pandemic DOCS-A total scores and a weak positive correlation with pre-pandemic DOCS-A total scores (p < 0.001 for both). Pre- and post-pandemic DOCS-A total and subdimension scores were significantly higher in women than in men (p < 0.05). Participants with a personal history of chronic diseases had higher BAI and DOCS-A scores compared to participants with no such history (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). The results indicated a significant increase in OC symptoms during the pandemic period compared to the pre-pandemic period and a moderate correlation between the anxiety levels and OC symptom severity. It was also revealed that female gender and personal or family history of chronic diseases posed a higher risk for the increase in anxiety and OC symptoms and healthcare professionals had a higher risk of developing anxiety symptoms compared to non-healthcare professionals.