Mental health of general practitioners and family medicine specialists two years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic

Maria Zafirovska, Aleksandar Zafirovski, Jeļena Daniļenko, K Coteur, H Lingner, N Buono, C Brutting, A Stepanovič, M.M. Mazicioglu, M.K. Sahin, M Kojic, M.P. Kiurski, I.C. Busneag, L. Ramasaco, Z Jatic, V Lazic, L Kirov, H Dimitrov, M Brovč, F SkenderiM Richter, M.F. Dikici, E Abazaj, D Atijas, M Kostic, L Šukriev, Association of general practice/family medicine of South-East Europe (AGP/FM SEE)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Mental health is greatly affected during times of considerable adversity and unstable political, social, and economic situations. During viral epidemic outbreaks various demographic, social and occupational factors influence the mental health of healthcare workers. Since general practitioners (GPs) and family medicine specialists (FMSs) are the gatekeepers of the healthcare system, during this pandemic they have been exposed to increased workload, stress, and risk of infection.

Research questions:
The primary aim is to assess the prevalence of anxiety, depression and fear of COVID-19 in GPs and FMSs two years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The secondary aim is to explore factors that influence the level of anxiety, depression and fear.

An anonymous online survey was distributed to the target population in the following countries in Europe: Latvia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Turkey, with the help of various national organizations of GPs and/or FMSs. The survey includes questions about sociodemographic and occupational data, as well as different scales for assessing mental health: PHQ-9, GAD-7 and Fear of COVID-19 scale.

At the time of writing this abstract, 1719 GPs and FMSs participated in the survey. The majority are female with 75,97%. The average age is 47,05±12,11. From the total, 43,68% are GPs and 56,32% are FMSs. More than half of the participants work in the public sector and ¾ work in urban areas. Since the survey isn’t closed yet, we will be presenting the preliminary results of our research at the EGPRN conference.

Taking care of the mental well-being and resilience of GPs and FMSs is essential in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This study will shed more light on this problem and help us in creating new policies that will contribute to maintaining mental well-being among healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Points for discussion:
What are the most common factors that influence the mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic?

How can we use the results of this research to help in creating better mental health support systems for physicians during pandemic outbreaks?

How to increase interest and improve response rates of GPs and FMSs in future research regarding mental health?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event95th European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) Meeting: Research on integrated community care: Focus on GP, patients and population - Convention Center Hof van Liere, Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 20 Oct 202223 Oct 2022
Conference number: 95


Meeting95th European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) Meeting
Abbreviated titleEGPRN 2022
Internet address


  • mental health
  • general practitioners
  • family medicine specialists

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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