- Lisa Zerden, MSW, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for MSW Education, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: This study focused on identifying specific interventions health systems implemented during the first year of COVID-19 across the micro (individual), mezzo (organization), and macro (community) continuum to address burnout among the health workforce. Unrelenting conditions have placed the frontline health workforce at high risk for burnout- the emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Study design: This study involved a two-pronged approach: (1) Conducting expert interviews with administrators involved in COVID-19 burnout prevention efforts within health systems, and (2) A scoping review (SR) of the published literature on burnout interventions implemented for healthcare workers during the pandemic. Description of the population sampled: Interviews (N=5) were conducted with health care experts in hospital administrative work directly involved in the COVID-19 burnout prevention efforts. The databases used in the SR include PubMed, PsycInfo, CINAHL and Business Source Premier. Procedures and measures: The SR utilized a search protocol that included a priori inclusion criteria, search terms, database selection, and data abstraction. All steps of the scoping review were conducted by at least two investigators. Strategies identified were organized into micro, mezzo, and macro-level interventions. Key results: The SR resulted in 20 articles after title and abstract screening were conducted. Nearly 86% of the articles described interventions in academic medical centers. Micro-level interventions included increasing behavioral health support. Mezzo-level interventions included virtual town-hall meetings or wellness initiatives. Macro-level interventions included coordinating supports such as working with external state agencies to assist with childcare. Most articles described burnout-interventions that were new efforts in response to COVID-19 and reflect how little was formalized in preventing burnout prior to the pandemic.
- Discuss how existing literature captured burnout interventions for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Describe how burnout efforts were experienced in five states by senior health care system administrators.
- Identify potential burnout intervention strategies that may be helpful to implement to mitigate burnout in your own hospital.