Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression Among Respiratory Therapy Professionals in The Western Region of Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Digital Library
Background: Anxiety and depression are prevalent concerns among psychologists, psychiatric professionals, and behavioral scientists across the world. Anxiety is defined as worry-filled thoughts and a pervasive sense of impending doom. It is a broad concern about what will or might occur in the future. Depression is a debilitating disorder, leading to higher death rates and a significant decline in the quality of life. It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, and lack of happiness. Therefore, anxiety and depression could have a detrimental effect on the well-being and productivity of respiratory therapists. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression among respiratory therapists employed by public and private hospitals in the western region of Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between September 5 and October 7, 2023. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was distributed electronically to respiratory therapists' email addresses through direct collaboration with RT department heads. Data were collected from RT professionals in both public and private hospitals by using a non-probability convenience sampling technique. The data analysis and statistical description provided by the participants were displayed as means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentages. A one-way ANOVA test was used to determine the significant differences in HADS scores among categorical groups. Results: A total of 307 responses were received from RTs working in the western region of Saudi Arabia. The majority of them were from public hospitals (74.3%) and (25.7%) from private hospitals. The study findings showed that the prevalence of anxiety and depression among RT professionals in the western of SA were found to be 38.8% and 37.5%, respectively. In addition, HADS scores were significantly higher among RT professionals who were female, current smokers, divorced, or widowed. However, HADS showed that anxiety was significantly higher among RT professionals with clinical experience between 1-4 years as well. Conclusion: Anxiety and depression were common psychological disorders among respiratory therapists in the western region of Saudi Arabia. Higher odds of anxiety and depression were significantly found among females, staff with clinical experience between 1 and 4 years, smokers, and divorced/widowed staff. Further studies are required to investigate the prevalence of depression and anxiety among RTs in all regions of Saudi Arabia.
Prevalence, Anxiety, Depression, Respiratory Therapy Professionals, Saudi Arabia, Western Region, Respiratory Therapist