Ana Patrícia da Silva Souza1,2, Mariluce Rodrigues Marques Silva1,2, Ana Beatriz Januário da Silva1,2, Patrícia Celina de Lira2, José Maurício Lucas da Silva2,3, Mayara Luclécia da Silva2,3, Taciane Silva do Carmo2,3, Simone Carla Peres Leite2, Roberta Karlize Pereira Silva2, Karollaine Gomes da Silva2, Péricles Tavares Austregésilo Filho2,4, Matheus Santos de Sousa Fernandes1, Waleska Maria Almeida Barros1,2,3 and Viviane de Oliveira Nogueira Souza4,5*
Viviane de Oliveira Nogueira Souza
Department of Tropical Animal Science
Federal Rural University of Pernambuco-Recife
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: November 07, 2020; Accepted Date: November 23, 2020; Published Date: November 27, 2020
Citation: Souza APS, Silva MRM, Silva ABJ, Lira PC, Silva JML, Silva ML, et al. (2020) Anxiety Symptoms in University Professors during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Health Sci J. 14 No. 7: 773.
The pandemic scenario for the new COVID-19 (corona virus disease), reached alarming proportions, thus many government officials declared a state of emergency to effectively fight the disease through strategies including, social distance through decrees for stay at home, travel restrictions and closing nonessential services [1-3]. In addition, in order to prevent the spread of this pathology, competent bodies have opted for a halt in its operation, among them institutions of basic to higher education, these procedures occurred in 150 countries from March 25, 2020, causing an impact for more than 80% of the world's student population [4,5].
About health, it is already known that prolonged home isolation, during the outbreak of a disease can promote damage to the physical and mental health of individuals . In this sense, during a COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety may develop in healthy individuals or those with a previous psychiatric disorder .
Some studies have already shown changes in the mental or physical state of health professional , as well as students in several higher education courses were studied during the COVID-19 pandemic period , however, the real impact of this chaotic situation on components related to the mental health of university professors is not known. In this sense, the objective of this cross-sectional study was to quantify the symptoms of anxiety during the period of social detachment, in addition to making a comparison between teachers in relation to sex and in different undergraduate courses in the Centro UniversitarioEscritor Osman da Costa Lins-UNIFACOL, emVitória de Santo Antão- PE, Brazil. The research was approved by the Human Studies Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Pernambuco with protocol number 4,066,034.
All teachers (n=200) who remained in remote classes, were invited to participate in the online survey by digital media. Those who accepted (n=115) answer an electronic questionnaire (Google forms®), between June 4th and 15th, 2020, composed of sociodemographic issues and the trait-state anxiety inventory (TSAI) that assesses subjective aspects related to anxiety . Among volunteers, 57.4% are male, with respect to age 37.4% are between 35 and 45 years old, 61.7% are married, 42.6% have two children or more, 40% exercise teaching for more than ten years, 24.3% report working more than ten hours a day, and 49.6% teach in health courses (Table 1).
Table 1 Sociodemographic characteristics of university professors (n=115).
|Age||25 to 35 years||34||29,6|
|35 to 45 years||43||37,4|
|45 to 55 years||24||20,9|
|Above 55 years||14||12,2|
|Married or living with a partner||71||61,7|
|Separated or divorced||12||10,4|
|Number of children||None||27||33,9|
|Two or more||49||42,6|
|How long have you been a professor||1-2 years||20||17,4|
|Over 10 years||46||40|
|Daily working hours||3-6 hours||37||32,2|
|More than 10 hours||28||24,3|
With regard to the trait, which shows a more stable and frequent aspect of anxiety in the individual's life, 12% of the volunteers manifested a high degree, however with regard to the state, which represents the level of anxiety presented at the moment evaluated, 46% of the total number of teachers had a high degree of anxiety symptoms. Higher levels of anxiety symptoms were found in female teachers, both in the state and in the trait (Figure 1).
A study carried out during the outbreak of COVID-19 in an adult population, found moderate to severe anxiety symptoms in about a third of individuals and the female sex was significantly associated with a greater psychological impact and higher levels of anxiety . Despite studying a different population, our result was similar. Some factors such as the speed at which the virus spreads, the uncertainties about it, the duration of the pandemic and its consequences can be risk factors for the mental health of the population . These findings point to the need for actions on the part of institutions to maintain the mental health of their employees, which can promote an improvement in the provision of services and the well-being of professionals, especially in a time of pandemic.