The Impact of COVID-19-Related Work Stress on the Mental Health of Primary Healthcare Workers: The Mediating Effects of Social Support and Resilience

Lu Shao Bo Shi, Richard Huan Xu, Yi Xia, Dong Xue Chen, Dong Wang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The psychological condition of healthcare workers since the COVID-19 pandemic has attracted the attention of many studies. However, few have reported on psychosocial problems of primary healthcare workers in the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to examine the mediating roles of social support and resilience in COVID-19-related work stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Methods: A total of 840 primary healthcare workers in 17 community health centers in Guangzhou, China, were recruited from May to July 2021. Data on demographic characteristics, COVID-19-related work stress, social support, resilience, anxiety and depression were collected. A structural equation model was used for mediation analysis. Results: More than half of participants reported mild or more severe (at least borderline abnormal) symptoms of anxiety (68.1%) and depression (55.6%). Social support and resilience mediate the association between COVID-19-related work stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression, respectively. Furthermore, the association between work stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression was also mediated by an accumulation of social support and resilience. The indirect effect of COVID-19-related work stress on anxiety and depression through resilience was much greater than other indirect effects. Conclusion: Anxiety and depression were prevalent among primary healthcare workers. This study highlights the psychological impact of the COVID-19-related psychosocial work environment on primary healthcare workers. There is an urgent need to improve working conditions for primary healthcare workers in the COVID-19 and to implement intervention strategies aimed at increasing individual resilience alongside the establishment of external supportive work environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number800183
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022


  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • primary healthcare workers
  • resilience
  • social support
  • work stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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