Date of Award

Spring 3-10-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Kyle Brandenberger

Second Advisor

Dr. Chip Zimmerman

Third Advisor

Prof. Shi Hu Shan



BACKGROUND: The level of anxiety and sleep disturbances among healthcare providers plays an essential role in overcoming epidemics, especially those on the front lines. It is the responsibility of RTs to provide care to patients with respiratory illnesses. Because of their importance in the health care team, respiratory therapists must have good mental health to do their job to the fullest. It is necessary to identify the subpopulations of healthcare workers who are particularly vulnerable to sleep deprivation and anxiety to characterize them to develop targeted interventions and plan for future crises. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of sleep disturbance and anxiety among RTs in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 winter of 2022. METHODS: The study employed a cross-sectional survey that was conducted online and consisted of 44 questions administered to a convenience sample of RTs in Saudi Arabia. The survey was divided into three parts, which were Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and demographic questions. The data analysis was conducted using SPSS version 27. RESULTS: The sample of this research involves 34 respiratory therapists. The majority of the respondents were males 67.6% (n=23), while the females comprised 32.4% (n=11). In addition, 32.4% (n=11) of the participants were from the central region, 14.7% (n=5) were from the east region, 5.9% (n=2) were from the north region and 11.8% (n=4) were from the south region, and 35.3% (n=12) were from the west region. The study showed that the majority of respiratory therapists in Saudi Arabia (79.4%) reported that they had sleep disturbances. The study findings of seven components of the Pittsburg sleep quality index (PSQI) among RTs in Saudi Arabia showed that the component “Sleep latency” was the highest mean score (M=1.8 ± 1.0). The finding revealed that twenty-seven participants out of thirty-four (79.4 %) Reported normal anxiety, with only 20.6% having mild-to-moderate anxiety. Moreover, the study findings indicated no significant difference in sleep disturbances and anxiety levels between RTs in the different regions of Saudi Arabia; sleep disturbances H (4) = 5.026, P = .285, anxiety H (4) = 3.299, P=.509. Additionally, the study found no evidence that anxiety statistically correlated with sleep disturbances among RTs in Saudi Arabia. (P = 0.139). Conclusion: This study provides important insights into the prevalence of sleep disturbances and anxiety among respiratory therapists in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 winter of 2022. It is found that a significant proportion of respiratory therapists in Saudi Arabia experienced sleep disturbances. Further research is needed to explore effective strategies to support mental health and quality of sleep among respiratory therapists.


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