Healthcare workers (HCWs) are exposed daily to the risk of injury by needlesticks and other medical instruments. However, the psychiatric impacts of such injuries have not been evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mental health status of HCWs with experiences of needlestick and sharps injuries. A cross-sectional written survey was performed. The psychological symptoms before injury and current status were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The proportions of HCWs with and without needlestick and sharps injuries were 71.1% (n=263) and 28.9% (n=107), respectively. HAM-A and BDI scores were significantly higher among HCWs with injury experiences (p<0.01). HCWs with injury experiences exhibited higher PSS and BDI scores after the injury and higher levels of anxiety and depression. Particular attention should be directed towards the psychological consequences of needlestick and sharps injuries in HCWs.
2006 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health