Frequency of Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms Related to Anxiety in Nurses Care for COVID-19 Patients: A Cross-sectional Study

Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most prevalent anxiety-related disorders caused by many environmental factors, including anxiety. The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed nurses to greater levels of occupational anxiety. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the frequency of obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms and the relationship between OC symptoms and anxiety in nurses of COVID-19 patients at Dr. Ganjavian hospital, Dezful, Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study encompassed 190 nurses working in units for COVID-19 patients meeting the inclusion criteria. They were evaluated using a demographic characteristics form, the Maudsley Obsessional Compulsive Inventory (MOCI), and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) (Spielberger, 1983). Sampling was performed via a stratified random sampling method. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (absolute frequency and percentage) and analytical statistics (Pearson correlation coefficient and independent t-test) via SPSS version 21 at a significance level of 0.05. Results: The study revealed that 74.4% of the participants showed OC symptoms, 47.4% stated anxiety below moderate, and 61.1% trait anxiety above moderate. The results of the Pearson correlation displayed that OC symptoms were significantly associated with state/trait anxiety (P = 0.001). Furthermore, the independent t-test indicated that the mean score of OC symptoms was significantly higher in females (P = 0.03) and married subjects (P = 0.006). Conclusions: The frequency of OC symptoms was high in nurses working in COVID-19 units, especially females and married subjects. There was also a significant relationship between OC symptoms and anxiety, such that anxiety increased with OC symptoms. Thus, it is suggested that nursing managers identify anxiety-causing factors in nurses to prevent more severe anxiety disorders.