Changes in audiologists’ mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic: the supportive role of professional associations, workplaces and hearing device manufacturers

Bec Bennett, Elise Cumming-Potvin, Robert Eikelboom, Vinaya Manchiah, Jo Badcock, De Wet Swanepoel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore whether self-reported mental wellbeing (anxiety, depression and loneliness) in audiologists has changed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and to examine possible factors contributing to audiologists’ current state of mental wellbeing. Design: Two cross-sectional surveys were distributed at two different time points during the COVID-19 pandemic screening for psychological distress (PHQ-4: anxiety and depression) and loneliness (UCLA-3). Study sample: 117 audiologists from around the world. Results: Findings demonstrated that over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic audiologists’ levels of depression decreased, levels of anxiety were low and stable, whilst levels of loneliness were stable and high. Younger age was associated with lower levels of mental well-being. Responses to open text questions suggests that audiologists could be supported through development of clear and consistent guidelines on COVID-19 workplace restrictions, allowing for more workplace flexibility and providing mental health support through employee assistance programs. Conclusions: The rates of anxiety, depression and loneliness observed highlight the continued need for mental health and workplace interventions to support audiologists throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent recovery period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-540
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Volume62
Issue number6
Early online date19 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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