Nurses’ Perceptions Regarding Exposure to COVID-19 Risks, and Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on their Work and Psychosocial Health: A Cross-sectional Study

Nora H. Elneblawi1, Rami A. Elshatarat1, Khadega A. Elhefnawy1, 2, Inas A. Ebeid3, 4, Mohammed S. Aljohani1, Naif S. Alzahrani1, Abdulaziz Mofdy Almarwani4, Zyad T. Saleh5, *
1 Department of Medical and Surgical Nursing, College of Nursing, Taibah University, Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
3 Department of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Portsaid University, Portsaid, Egypt
4 Department of Psychiatric Nursing, College of Nursing, Taibah University, Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Clinical Nursing, School of Nursing, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Elneblawi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Clinical Nursing, School of Nursing, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan 11942;
Tel: +962785358313; Fax: +96265300244; E-mails:,



Coronavirus (COVID) is a large family of RNA viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe symptoms.


Determine nurses’ perceptions in Saudi Arabia regarding their risks, measures and coping mechanisms to prevent COVID-19 infection and transmission and the significant associated factors for their anxiety.


This is a correlational cross-sectional study. A convenience sampling method was used to recruit a total of 345 nurses. A valid and reliable questionnaire was adapted from a previous study and the generalized anxiety disorder-2 items (GAD-2) scale was used to collect the data.


The majority of the participants (75.7%) perceived that they were most likely at risk of getting COVID-19. In terms of preventative actions,84.3% said they were avoiding crowded places, 77.4% were adhering to protocols and recommended measures, about 73.0% of participants were taking nutritional supplements and vitamins, practicing exercises, and changing out of work clothes, 54.8% were taking a shower before going home, and 53.9% were temporarily staying away from home in alternative housing to prevent having COVID-19 or transmitting the virus to their relatives. Furthermore, significant association was found between the participants’ anxiety and the male gender (r=0.1, p=0.04), less nursing experience (r=0.41, p=0.02), number of children (r=0.35, p=0.03). Additionally, participants exposed to COVID-19 patients, who did not implement the measures and coping mechanisms to prevent COVID-19 were significantly associated with a high level of GAD-2.


The majority of nurses perceived that they were at high risk of getting COVID-19 and were concerned that they could easily transmit COVID-19 to their relatives. As a result, many implemented preventive measures to protect themselves and prevent transmission of COVID-19 to their families and relatives. The continued attendance of health education programs about COVID-19 as well as the implementation of basic standard precautions, is essential to protect health workers and their families.

Keywords: Novel coronavirus (COVID – 19), Global pandemic, Coping mechanisms, Saudi nurses, Generalized anxiety disorder, Psychological health.