Moral Injury and Burnout in Health Care Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mantri, S; Song, YK; Lawson, JM; Berger, EJ; Koenig, HG

Published Date

  • October 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 209 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 720 - 726

PubMed ID

  • 34582400

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1539-736X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001367


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States