The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of nurses in British Columbia, Canada using trends analysis across three time points

Farinaz Havaei, Peter Smith, John Oudyk, Guy G. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study examined trends over time in the prevalence of anxiety and depression among Canadian nurses: 6 months before, 1-month after, and 3 months after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Methods: This study adopted a repeated cross-sectional design and surveyed unionized nurses in British Columbia (BC), Canada on three occasions: September 2019 (Time 1, prepandemic), April 2020 (Time 2, early-pandemic) and June 2020 (Time 3). Results: A total of 10,117 responses were collected across three timepoints. This study found a significant increase of 10% to 15% in anxiety and depression between Time 1 and 2, and relative stability between Time 2 and 3, with Time 3 levels still higher than Time 1 levels. Cross-sector analyses showed similar patterns of findings for acute care and community nurses. Long-term care nurses showed a two-fold increase in the prevalence of anxiety early pandemic, followed by a sharper decline mid pandemic. Conclusions: COVID-19 has had short- and mid-term mental health implications for BC nurses particularly among those in the long-term care sector. Future research should evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of health workers in different contexts, such as jurisdictional analyses, and better understand the long-term health and labor market consequences of elevated mental health symptoms over an extended time period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Long-term care
  • Mental health
  • Nursing

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