Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on pediatric subspecialists’ well-being and perception of workplace value

Jeanie L. Gribben, Samuel M. Kase, Katherine F. Guttmann, Elisha D. Waldman, Andrea S. Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To explore pediatric subspecialist distress and well-being during the pandemic, with a particular focus on relationships between compassion fatigue (CF), burnout (BO), and compassion satisfaction (CS), and physicians’ perception of “feeling valued” by their institution. Methods: The Compassion Fatigue and Satisfaction Self-Test and a questionnaire of personal/professional characteristics were distributed electronically to pediatric subspecialists. Content analysis was performed for responses to the question “How has your institution made you feel valued?” Results: During the 16-month study period, CF and BO scores significantly increased, and CS scores decreased over time. By Epoch 3, 52% of respondents did not feel valued by their employing institution. When controlling for the effect of time, CF and BO scores remained higher, and CS scores lower, in participants who did not feel valued by their institution. Themes from the content analysis of “value” included expressions of gratitude, perks vs. penalties, safety, and leadership. The same overture from leadership provoked disparate responses in recipients, seemingly over the sincerity behind the offering, which may reflect underlying workplace culture. Conclusions: Increasingly, pediatric subspecialists are not feeling valued for their work. Institutional leadership must prioritize healthy workplace culture, and re-think emotional and mental health support within the health system. Impact: A total of 52% of our study population did not “feel valued” by their employing institution by late 2021, which is cause for concern.This is the first longitudinal analysis of distress and well-being in a national cohort of pediatric subspecialists during the COVID-19 pandemic.The same overture or messaging from leadership sparked disparate responses in recipients, seemingly over the sincerity behind the offering, which relates to the underlying workplace culture of the department or institution.Institutional leadership must prioritize a healthy workplace culture, and re-think and re-invent emotional and mental health support within the health system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-587
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Research
Volume94
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

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