Objective: the COVID-19 pandemic has incurred psychological risks for healthcare workers (HCWs). We established a Victorian HCW cohort (the Coronavirus in Victorian Healthcare and Aged-Care Workers (COVIC-HA) cohort study) to examine COVID-19 impacts on HCWs and assess organisational responses over time. Methods: mixed-methods cohort study, with baseline data collected via an online survey (7 May–18 July 2021) across four healthcare settings: ambulance, hospitals, primary care, and residential aged-care. Outcomes included self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTS), wellbeing, burnout, and resilience, measured using validated tools. Work and home-related COVID-19 impacts and perceptions of workplace responses were also captured. Results: among 984 HCWs, symptoms of clinically significant depression, anxiety, and PTS were reported by 22.5%, 14.0%, and 20.4%, respectively, highest among paramedics and nurses. Emotional exhaustion reflecting moderate–severe burnout was reported by 65.1%. Concerns about contracting COVID-19 at work and transmitting COVID-19 were common, but 91.2% felt well-informed on workplace changes and 78.3% reported that support services were available. Conclusions: Australian HCWs employed during 2021 experienced adverse mental health outcomes, with prevalence differences observed according to occupation. Longitudinal evidence is needed to inform workplace strategies that support the physical and mental wellbeing of HCWs at organisational and state policy levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4951
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • COVID-19
  • healthcare workers
  • infectious diseases epidemiology
  • occupational health
  • psychological disorders

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