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Healthcare Provider PTSD: The Certain and Uncertain Challenges of COVID-19

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Healthcare Delivery & Policy, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Politics, Governance & Law, Social Impacts

The worldwide pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus has overburdened healthcare systems across the globe, resulting in shortages of medical resources and personnel. Scarcity requires healthcare providers to make difficult decisions around the use of limited supplies and prioritize patients depending on many factors such as their age, current health status and likelihood of survival. Making these decisions can be distressing for healthcare providers, especially when lives are at stake. Concerns have been raised about the effects of this distress on the levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) experienced by healthcare providers. This project will examine evidence of PTSD in physicians during past pandemics and epidemics and generate recommendations for the current climate.

An examination of PTSD in physicians associated with triage and other difficult moral decisions during epidemics and pandemics. Results will be used to inform recommendations for healthcare providers in the current COVID-10 pandemic crisis and its aftermath.