Assessing the Mental Impact and Burnout among Physicians during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Developing Country Single-Center Experience

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  • 1 Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • 3 Department of Internal Medicine, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, India;
  • 4 Dow International Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • 5 Department of Internal Medicine, Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan

Health-care workers are on the front line to combat the peculiar coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic and are susceptible to acquiring this infection. This study is aimed at documenting the effect of “coronaphobia” on mental well-being and to report burnout among physicians. The study was conducted as a cross-sectional survey between November 17, 2020 and January 1, 2021 via a Google form distributed among the physicians of a tertiary care hospital, in Karachi, Pakistan. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) was used to assess the mental well-being of physicians. Burnout was documented by using the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel. Eighty-seven physicians participated in the survey (mean age, 30.9 ± 7.3 years). The mean WEMWBS score of the study participants was 51.6 ± 10.8. Regarding the WEMWBS, emotional exhaustion was observed in 54% (N = 47) of participants, depersonalization in 77% (N = 67), and low personal accomplishment was reported in 31% (N = 27) of participants. The results of the survey further highlight that depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and low personal accomplishment were associated significantly with a history of COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 postings. Hence, immediate measures are required to reduce the burnout among physicians while battling the second wave of the pandemic.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, B328 Block 6 Gulshan E Iqbal, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan 73500. E-mails: sohaib_asghar123@yahoo.com and msohaibasghar123@gmail.com

Authors’ addresses: Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Farah Yasmin, Haris Alvi, Syed Ali Farhan, Rabail Yaseen, and Saira Anwar, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mails: sohaib_asghar123@yahoo.com, farahyasmin972@yahoo.com, doctorhalvi@gmail.com, syed_ali11@hotmail.com, rabail_yaseen@ymail.com, and syraanwar.786@gmail.com. Syed Muhammad Ismail Shah, Department of Internal Medicine, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: ismailshah6551@gmail.com. Kashish Malhotra, Department of Internal Medicine, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, India, E-mail: drkashishmalhotra@gmail.com. Syed Anosh Ali Naqvi, Dow International Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: anaqvi95@gmail.com. Uzma Rasheed, Department of Internal Medicine, Liaquat National Hospital & Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: uzma.rasheed92@hotmail.com.

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