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Understanding and Addressing Sources of Anxiety Among Health Care Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To understand sources of anxiety among health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic
1 Credit CME

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become one of the central health crises of a generation. The pandemic has affected people of all nations, continents, races, and socioeconomic groups. The responses required, such as quarantining of entire communities, closing of schools, social isolation, and shelter-in-place orders, have abruptly changed daily life.

Health care professionals of all types are caring for patients with this disease. The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the severity of symptoms it can cause in a segment of infected individuals has acutely taxed the limits of health care systems. Although the potential shortage of ventilators and intensive care unit (ICU) beds necessary to care for the surge of critically ill patients has been well described, additional supplies and beds will not be helpful unless there is an adequate workforce.1,2

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Tait Shanafelt, MD, Stanford Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine, 500 Pasteur Dr, Stanford, CA 94305 (tshana@stanford.edu).

Published Online: April 7, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5893

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Shanafelt reported being the co-inventor of Well-being Index instruments and the Participatory Management Leadership Index and receiving a portion of any royalties paid to Mayo Clinic, the copyright owner, for their use and receiving honoraria for giving presentations and advising health care organizations on the well-being of health care professionals. No other disclosures were reported.

References
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Lai  J , Ma  S , Wang  Y ,  et al.  Factors associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to coronavirus disease 2019.   JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e203976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
2.
Chen  KY , Yang  CM , Lien  CH ,  et al.  Burnout, job satisfaction, and medical malpractice among physicians.   Int J Med Sci. 2013;10(11):1471-1478.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Adams  JG , Walls  RM .  Supporting the health care workforce during the COVID-19 global epidemic.   JAMA. Published online March 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3972 PubMedGoogle Scholar
4.
Chen  Q , Liang  M , Li  Y ,  et al.  Mental health care for medical staff in China during the COVID-19 outbreak.   Lancet Psychiatry. 2020;7(4):e15-e16.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Cohen  IG , Crespo  AM , White  DB .  Potential legal liability for withdrawing or withholding ventilators during COVID-19: assessing the risks and identifying needed reforms.   JAMA. Published online April 1, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5442PubMedGoogle Scholar
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Singer  T , Klimecki  OM .  Empathy and compassion.   Curr Biol. 2014;24(18):R875-R878.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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