The psychological effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural appalachian nurses

Annette Lynn Ferguson, Jessica Maynard


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected all individuals around the globe, spreading rapidly in late 2019. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to be on the rise causing healthcare facilities to be overwhelmed. In the Appalachian region of the US, the pandemic has been devastating for the community. Healthcare workers on the frontline have had to respond to the pandemic by working directly with patients infected in both the hospital and community setting and have placed themselves and their families at risk of physical and psychological harm.  Nurses are especially at risk due to their close personal contact with patients with COVID-19. The aim of this study was to assess the psychological impact of the pandemic on rural Appalachian nurses working directly with patients with COVID-19 in the acute care hospital setting. A cross-sectional design was utilized for this study. The Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21) was administered to 77 nurses. The results of the study found that 66.3% of the nurses self-reported their level of depression between a moderate to extremely severe level when caring for COVID-19 patients. In addition, 72.8% of participants reported their anxiety level between moderate to extremely severe and finally, 58.5% reported their stress levels between moderate to extremely severe during this time period. Based on the results of this study, it is imperative that healthcare facilities develop strategies and interventions to address the physical and mental health needs of nurses caring for patients in these stressful work environments.

Full Text:



Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.