PURPOSE: Physical therapists are at risk of becoming infected because they are in contact with or within 2 meters of the patient while treating them. The purpose of this study is to investigate the anxiety and depression of physical therapists during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to identify the factors that affect anxiety and depression.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted during the pandemic. The survey were completed by 84 physical therapists in 24 local hospitals in Gwangju, South Korea. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) were used to evaluate their anxiety and depression status. Logistic regression models were used to identify the general characteristics factors related to anxiety or depression.
RESULTS: It was found that 40 (47.6%) respondents had anxiety, and 37 (44%) had depression. If there was a child under the age of seven in the physical therapist’s family, a high probability of anxiety (p < .05) prevailed. Physical therapists in their 30s had a higher risk of depression than those in their 40s (p < .05). The risk of anxiety and depression in physical therapists who were with patients who did not wear masks was higher than for those who were with patients who wore masks (p < .05).
CONCLUSION: The anxiety and depression status of physical therapists in Gwangju, South Korea, during the pandemic of COVID-19 was poor. It is necessary to wear a mask for all people during physical therapy.