Academic Impact and Quality of Life Among Otorhinolaryngology Residents During COVID-19 Pandemic in South India

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a major public health crisis. Residents entered the frontline in triaging and treating COVID-19 patients, working overtime to meet the growing demand. Surgical practice and educational activities were restricted, thus affecting resident training. There was also a great risk to their mental health. Our study aims to assess the academic impact and quality of life including mental health status among year I, year II and year III otorhinolaryngology residents during the pandemic. A cross-sectional study was conducted among postgraduates and junior residents working in otorhinolaryngology departments in institutions across South India in October 2020. Quality of life, severity of anxiety and depression, and academic impact were assessed using the WHOQOL-BREF, GAD-7, PHQ-8 and Academic impact questionnaires respectively via Google Forms. A total of 303 responses were obtained. Inpatient and outpatient clinical activity were affected irrespective of the year of training. Surgical training was also affected especially among the final-year residents (year III) with a mean score of 4.42. The maximum median WHOQOL-BREF score of 14.66 was found in the social domain and 13.33 in the psychological and social domains in men and women respectively. The majority (43%) of 114 men had mild anxiety, while among women, a slight preponderance (33.9%) of severe anxiety was noted. Most of the residents (75% of men and 66.6% of women) had no symptoms suggestive of depressive disorder, however, 19.3% of the men and 29.6% of the women were found to have major depression. The impact of the pandemic on resident training and mental health has been immense. The study outcome may help residents comprehend and perceive the extent of the same, and explore methods to be equipped and overcome similar circumstances in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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