Concerns and mental health of teachers from digitally underdeveloped countries regarding the reopening of schools after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

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IOS Press
BACKGROUND: Torn between the decision to return to school classrooms or continue holding online classes during COVID-19, teachers around the world feel great uncertainty. OBJECTIVE: Bearing in mind that the study of mental health during the pandemic is of great importance for vulnerable categories, and given the role of teachers in society, the aim of this research is to assess teachers’ concerns and anxiety before the start of the school year, and also to examine the factors related to them and propose measures in line with the results. METHODS: The study was conducted as a cross-sectional study before the start of the 2020/2021 school year. The research sample consisted of 286 teachers. For the purposes of this research, a special questionnaire was constructed consisting of a general questionnaire and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD-7). RESULTS: The strongest predictor of a teacher’s answer that they were concerned about the reopening of schools was their concern for their own life and health and for the life and health of their family members, followed by the amount of information received about COVID-19, and, finally, older age. Only 2% of teachers had mild anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: This research indicated that it is necessary to examine in more detail the degree of teachers’ concern and its impact on their functionality and work process. It is also necessary to repeat the research on the mental health status of teachers and implement procedures in the form of a regular screening program of the mental health status of teachers or implement procedures of support in concern management
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COVID-19, teachers, mental health, concerns, anxiety