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Well-Being of Health Care Professionals Treating Opioid Use Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results From a National Survey.

Blevins D, Henry BF, Sung M, Edelman EJ, Black AC, Dawes M, Molfenter T, Hagle H, Drexler K, Cates-Wessel K, Levin FR. Well-Being of Health Care Professionals Treating Opioid Use Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results From a National Survey. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2022 Apr 1; 73(4):374-380.

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OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected health care delivery, effects that are juxtaposed with health care professional (HCP) burnout and mental distress. The Opioid Use Disorder Provider COVID-19 Survey was conducted to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on clinical practice and HCP well-being. METHODS: The cross-sectional survey was e-mailed to listservs with approximately 157,000 subscribers of diverse professions between July 14 and August 15, 2020. Two dependent variables evaluated HCP functioning and work-life balance. Independent variables assessed organizational practices and HCP experiences. Covariates included participant demographic characteristics, addiction board certification, and practice setting. Multilevel multivariate logistic regression models were used. RESULTS: Among 812 survey respondents, most were men, White, and physicians, with 46% located in urban settings. Function-impairing anxiety was reported by 17%, and 28% reported more difficulty with work-life balance. Difficulty with functioning was positively associated with having staff who were sick with COVID-19 and feeling close to patients, and was negatively associated with being male and having no staff changes. Difficulty with work-life balance was positively associated with addiction board certification; working in multiple settings; having layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours; staff illness with COVID-19; and group well-being check-ins. It was negatively associated with male gender, older age, and no staff changes. CONCLUSIONS: Demographic, provider, and organizational-practice variables were associated with reporting negative measures of well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. These results should inform HCPs and their organizations on factors that may lead to burnout, with particular focus on gender and age-related concerns and the role of well-being check-ins.

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