Factors related to self-reported distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions

Francisca L. Chou, David Abramson, Charles Dimaggio, Christina W. Hoven, Ezra Susser, Howard F. Andrews, Stanford Chihuri, Barbara H. Lang, Megan Ryan, Daniel Herman, Ida Susser, Franco Mascayano, Guohua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To identify factors associated with distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. Methods: An online survey was administered to physicians licensed in New York State. Results: Of the 164 physicians studied, 20.7% experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. The mean distress score was not significantly different between physicians who received just-in-time training and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.7 vs 6.2 ± 2.8, P=0.550) and between physicians who received clinical guidelines and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.9 vs 6.2 ± 2.7, P=0.820). Substantially increased odds of severe distress were found in physicians who reported that their first COVID-19 triage decisions were inconsistent with their core values (adjusted odds ratio 6.33, 95% confidence interval 2.03-19.76) and who reported having insufficient skills and expertise (adjusted odds ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval 0.91-9.87). Conclusion: About 1 in 5 physicians in New York experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. Physicians with insufficient skills and expertise, and core values misaligned to triage decisions are at heightened risk of severe distress. Just-in-time training and clinical guidelines do not appear to alleviate distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDisaster medicine and public health preparedness
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Healthcare Workforce
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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