This study aimed to explore the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of humanitarian and healthcare workers and its related factors in seven Eastern African countries (EAC).
A sample of frontline workers filled out an online cross-sectional survey questionnaire comprising socio-demographic, degree of symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress, alcohol and tobacco consumption, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using Short Form 6-Dimension version 2 (SF-6Dv2) and Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation 6-Dimension (CORE-6D), and fear of COVID-19 (FCV-19S) questionnaires. Multivariate regressions were conducted to identify independent factors associated with HRQoL.
Of total 721 study participants, mean (standard deviation) scores for SF-6Dv2 and CORE-6D were 0.87 (0.18) and 0.81 (0.14), respectively. Participants with an education level below a university degree, having chronic diseases, been tested positive to COVID-19, with traumatic memories, depression, insomnia, distress, and stress were found to have lower HRQoL likelihood in terms of SF-6Dv2 scores during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, participants with chronic diseases, exposure to COVID-19 patients, depression, insomnia, distress, stress, tested positive with COVID-19, and high level of fear of COVID-19, had lower HRQoL likelihood in terms of CORE-6D scores. Participants who were married had higher HRQoL likelihoods in terms of SF-6Dv2 scores.
Some personal and mental health characteristics, and COVID-19 related factors, were predictors of lower HRQoL of frontline workers in EAC. These findings should be meaningful while designing sustainable interventions and guidelines aiming to improve the HRQoL of frontline workers during a pandemic situation.