INTRODUCTION: It is assumed that healthcare professionals are directly or indirectly subjected to stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting their psychosocial health. This study aimed to evaluate the psychosocial status of healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic and examine the factors affecting their exposure to stigma.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study included all healthcare professionals (n=1132) working in primary and secondary healthcare institutions in Malatya Province. Descriptive questions were asked to measure the stigma experienced by healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and Insomnia Severity Index were used to evaluate psychosocial health status.
RESULTS: Of the participants, 68.7% stated that they were exposed to stigma because they are healthcare professionals. The findings indicated that 72.1% of those who felt stigmatized for being a healthcare professional suffered from moderate or severe depression, and 66.9% suffered from subthreshold or moderate insomnia. When their current health state was compared with that before the pandemic, 25.0% said that it became worse\much worse.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicated that most participants had been exposed to stigmatization because they are healthcare professionals. The participants who were exposed to stigma were found to suffer more from depression and insomnia. When their current health state was compared with that before the pandemic, one of every four participants stated that it became worse/much worse.