Background: The response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has created an unprecedented disruption in work conditions. This study describes the mental health and well-being of workers both with and without clinical exposure to patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Objective: The aim of this study is to measure the prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression, work exhaustion, burnout, and decreased well-being among faculty and staff at a university and academic medical center during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and describe work-related and personal factors associated with their mental health and well-being. Methods: All faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows of a university, including its medical school, were invited in April 2020 to complete an online questionnaire measuring stress, anxiety, depression, work exhaustion, burnout, and decreased well-being. We examined associations between these outcomes and factors including work in high-risk clinical settings and family/home stressors. Results: There were 5550 respondents (overall response rate of 34.3%). Overall, 34% of faculty and 14% of staff (n=915) were providing clinical care, while 61% of faculty and 77% of staff were working from home. Among all workers, anxiety (prevalence ratio 1.37, 95% CI 1.09-1.73), depression (prevalence ratio 1.28, 95% CI 1.03-1.59), and high work exhaustion (prevalence ratio 1.24, 95% CI 1.13-1.36) were independently associated with community or clinical exposure to COVID-19. Poor family-supportive behaviors by supervisors were also associated with these outcomes (prevalence ratio 1.40, 95% CI 1.21-1.62; prevalence ratio 1.69, 95% CI 1.48-1.92; and prevalence ratio 1.54, 95% CI 1.44-1.64, respectively). Age <40 years and a greater number of family/home stressors were also associated with these poorer outcomes. Among the subset of clinicians, caring for patients with COVID-19 and working in high-risk clinical settings were additional risk factors. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the pandemic has had negative effects on the mental health and well-being of both clinical and nonclinical employees. Mitigating exposure to COVID-19 and increasing supervisor support are modifiable risk factors that may protect mental health and well-being for all workers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21366
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Health care workers
  • Mental health
  • Occupational health
  • Pandemic
  • Remote work
  • Worker well-being


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