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PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258866, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480457


AIM: The long-term stress, anxiety and job burnout experienced by healthcare workers (HCWs) are important to consider as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic stresses healthcare systems globally. The primary objective was to examine the changes in the proportion of HCWs reporting stress, anxiety, and job burnout over six months during the peak of the pandemic in Singapore. The secondary objective was to examine the extent that objective job characteristics, HCW-perceived job factors, and HCW personal resources were associated with stress, anxiety, and job burnout. METHOD: A sample of HCWs (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative and operations staff; N = 2744) was recruited via invitation to participate in an online survey from four tertiary hospitals. Data were gathered between March-August 2020, which included a 2-month lockdown period. HCWs completed monthly web-based self-reported assessments of stress (Perceived Stress Scale-4), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), and job burnout (Physician Work Life Scale). RESULTS: The majority of the sample consisted of female HCWs (81%) and nurses (60%). Using random-intercept logistic regression models, elevated perceived stress, anxiety and job burnout were reported by 33%, 13%, and 24% of the overall sample at baseline respectively. The proportion of HCWs reporting stress and job burnout increased by approximately 1·0% and 1·2% respectively per month. Anxiety did not significantly increase. Working long hours was associated with higher odds, while teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were associated with lower odds, of stress, anxiety, and job burnout. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived stress and job burnout showed a mild increase over six months, even after exiting the lockdown. Teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were protective and are targets for developing organizational interventions to mitigate expected poor outcomes among frontline HCWs.

Anxiety , Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Singapore/epidemiology
J Intensive Care ; 8: 59, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-707760


Triage becomes necessary when demand for intensive care unit (ICU) resources exceeds supply. Without triage, there is a risk that patients will be admitted to the ICU in the sequence that they present, disadvantaging those who either present later or have poorer access to healthcare. Moreover, if the patients with the best prognosis are not allocated life support, there is the possibility that overall mortality will increase. Before formulating criteria, principles such as maximizing lives saved and fairness ought to have been agreed upon to guide decision-making. The triage process is subdivided into three parts, i.e., having explicit inclusion/exclusion criteria for ICU admission, prioritization of patients for allocation to available beds, and periodic reassessment of all patients already admitted to the ICU. Multi-dimensional criteria offer more holistic prognostication than only using age cutoffs. Appointed triage officers should also be enabled to make data-driven decisions. However, the process does not merely end with an allocation decision being made. Any decision has to be sensitively and transparently communicated to the patient and family. With infection control measures, there are challenges in managing communication and the psychosocial distress of dying alone. Therefore, explicit video call protocols and social services expertise will be necessary to mitigate these challenges. Besides symptom management and psychosocial management, supportive care teams play an integral role in coordination of complex cases. This scoping review found support for the three-pronged, triage-communication-supportive care approach to facilitate the smooth operationalization of the triage process in a pandemic.