Non-clinical hospital staff were rarely studied despite their potential exposure to workplace stressors. We aimed to measure the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress (emotional distress symptoms) and determine their association with perceived job stress level and socioeconomic factors among non-clinical hospital staff.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in Ain-Shams University Hospitals from March to May 2019. Tools were the Arabic Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21, Workplace Stress Scale, and Socioeconomic status scale. Independent correlates were determined using multivariable ordinal regression.
Out of 462 participants, 72.5% reported receiving insufficient income and 54.8% showed Effort-reward imbalance. Job stress was scored as severe/potentially dangerous by 30.1%. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress were 67.5, 69.0, and 51.7%; and the severe/extremely severe levels were 20.8, 34.6, and 17.6% respectively. Across all the severity levels, the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and stress were progressively higher with more serious levels of income insufficiency [in debt versus able to save, OR:5.82 (95%CI:2.35–14.43), OR:3.84 (95%CI:1.66–8.91), and OR:3.01 (95%CI:1.20–7.55) respectively] and with higher job stress levels. Specifically, the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and stress increased by 74, 56, and 53% respectively with feelings of unpleasant/unsafe work conditions and by 64, 38, and 62% respectively with the presence of work-life conflict; while the likelihood of depression and stress increased by 32 and 33% respectively when there was difficult communication with superiors; and only the likelihood of depression increased by 23% with underutilization of skills.
Non-clinical hospital staff were commonly affected by emotional distress symptoms with high rates of severe/very severe levels, and they often considered their workplace stress as severe/potentially dangerous. Workplace stress and income insufficiency were strong correlates with emotional distress symptoms. Decreasing work-life conflict, enhancing leadership skills, and mitigation of the economic hardship are needed.