Posttraumatic Stress among Pediatric Critical Care Physicians in the United States in Association with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patient Care Experiences

Meena Kalyanaraman, Ashwini Sankar, Edem Timpo, Derrick McQueen, Kavita Morparia, Maria Bergel, Joshua Rosenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress among pediatric critical care physicians in the United States in association with coronavirus disease 2019 patient care experiences. Our objective was to assess the prevalence of posttraumatic stress (PTS) and its association with COVID-19 patient care experiences among pediatric critical care physicians. Our study was a cross-sectional study of pediatric critical care physicians in the United States. We measured PTS which included posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and subthreshold posttraumatic stress disorder (SubPTSD) using validated PTSD Checklist- 5 survey tool. Association of PTS with COVID-19 patient care experiences was analyzed using regression analysis. Prevalence of PTS was noted in 120 among 294 pediatric critical care physicians (41%; 95% CI, 35-47%). The predominant symptoms were that of hyperarousal and feelings of negative cognition and mood. Among our physicians with PTS, 19% had PTSD and 81% had SubPTSD. Demographic and practice characteristics were not significant for increased PTS on regression analysis. Posttraumatic stress was significantly associated with physicians testing positive or taking time off for COVID-19 illness, self-isolation, fear of infecting their loved ones, families scared of being infected, feeling helpless, patients expressing fears of dying, having pre-existing depression, anxiety, or insomnia, working beyond comfort level of training and having thoughts of quitting (p < 0.05). Thoughts of quitting was associated with the highest significant increase in PTS scores (coefficient:11.643; 95% CI:8.551,14.735; P < 0.01) followed by feeling of helplessness (coefficient:11.055; 95% CI: 8.484,13.624; P < 0.01) and need for additional medications for depression, anxiety and insomnia (coefficient: 10.980; 95% CI: 4.970, 16.990; P < 0.01). Posttraumatic stress is high in pediatric critical care physicians and is associated with various COVID-19 patient care experiences. Thoughts of quitting was associated with highest increase in posttraumatic stress score which could have major implications for the workforce in the future. Subthreshold posttraumatic stress disorder should be recognized, and mental health issues of pediatric critical care physicians addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-517
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • pandemic
  • pediatric critical care physician
  • posttraumatic stress
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • subthreshold
  • Physicians/psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • United States/epidemiology
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Depression/epidemiology
  • Critical Care
  • Child
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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