Moral Injury and Burnout in Health Care Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
ABSTRACT: The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is predicted to increase burnout in health professionals (HPs), but little is known about moral injury (MI) in this context. We administered the Moral Injury Symptoms Scale for Health Professionals (MISS-HP) and the abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory via online survey to a global sample of 1831 HPs in April and October 2020. Mean MISS-HP increased from 27.4 (SD, 11.6) in April to 36.4 (SD, 13.8) in October (p < 0.001), with an accompanying increase in personal accomplishment (April: 4.7; SD, 3.1; October: 9.3; SD, 3.1; p < 0.001) and no change in other burnout subscales. In April, 26.7% of respondents reported at least moderate functional impairment from MI, increasing to 45.7% in October (p < 0.001). Predictors of MISS-HP included younger age and being a nurse. Odds of functional impairment were higher in respondents who were widowed, divorced, never married, or had direct experience caring for patients with COVID-19. COVID-19 has increased MI but not burnout in HPs; younger or unmarried individuals, nurses, and frontline workers may benefit from targeted outreach to reduce downstream effects of MI, depression, and/or posttraumatic stress disorder.
Mantri, S; Song, YK; Lawson, JM; Berger, EJ; Koenig, HG
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