Bennett, B.J, Manchaiah, V., Eikelboom, R., Badcock, J., & Swanepoel, D.W.
International Journal of Audiology, In Press.
Publication year: 2021

Objective. The aim of the study was to examine the mental well-being of audiologists in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design. A cross-sectional online survey conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, between 23 June and 13 August 2020. Self-report survey included screening measures for psychological distress (PHQ-4: anxiety and depression) and loneliness (UCLA-3).

Study sample. 239 audiologists from around the world.

Results. The prevalence of psychological distress was 12.1% (subscales for anxiety 16.3% and depression 10.4%), and loneliness 32.2%. Depression and loneliness were higher in those participants self-reporting perceived job insecurity, with psychological distress (anxiety and depression) higher in those from South Africa. Accessibility to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) appears to be a protective factor.

Conclusions. Well-being interventions, such as EAPS, are needed to support audiologists during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic.