Psychosocial and behavioral outcomes in the adult workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic: a 1-Year longitudinal survey

Araliya M. Senerat, Zachary C. Pope, Sarah A. Rydell, Aidan F. Mullan, Véronique L. Roger, Mark A. Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 have included public space closures, mask usage, and quarantining. Studies regarding the impact of these measures on the psychosocial and behavioral health outcomes of the workforce have focused frequently on healthcare employees. To expand the literature base, we deployed a one-year longitudinal survey among mostly non-healthcare employees assessing changes in select psychosocial outcomes, health behaviors, and COVID-19-related transmission prevention behaviors and perceptions. Methods: We deployed the CAPTURE baseline survey across eight companies from November 20, 2020-February 8, 2021. The baseline survey included questions on psychosocial outcomes, health behaviors, and COVID-19 transmission prevention behaviors, with several questions containing a retrospective component to cover the time period prior to the pandemic. Additional questions on vaccination status and social support were subsequently added, and the updated survey deployed to the same baseline participants at three, six, and 12 months after baseline survey deployment. We analyzed data descriptively and performed Friedman’s and subsequent Wilcoxon-signed rank tests, as appropriate, to compare data within and between time points. Results: A total of 3607, 1788, 1545, and 1687 employees completed the baseline, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month CAPTURE surveys, respectively, with 816 employees completing all four time points. Employees reported higher stress, anxiety, fatigue, and feelings of being unsafe across all time points compared to pre-pandemic. Time spent sleeping increased initially but returned to pre-pandemic levels at follow-up. Lower rates of physical activity and higher rates of non-work screen time and alcohol consumption relative to pre-pandemic were also reported. Over 90% of employees perceived wearing a mask, physical distancing, and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as ‘moderately’ or ‘very important’ in preventing the spread of COVID-19 across all time points. Conclusions: Relative to pre-pandemic, poorer psychosocial outcomes and worsened health behaviors were observed across all time points, with values worse at the baseline and 12-month time points when COVID-19 surges were highest. While COVID-19 prevention behaviors were consistently deemed to be important by employees, the psychosocial outcome and health behavior data suggest the potential for harmful long-term effects of the pandemic on the well-being of non-healthcare employees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number634
JournalBMC public health
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Behavioral health
  • COVID-19
  • Longitudinal study
  • Psychosocial health

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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