Impacts of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on healthcare workers: A nationwide survey of United States radiologists

Elsevier, Clinical Imaging, Volume 68, December 2020
Demirjian N.L., Fields B.K.K., Song C., Reddy S., Desai B., Cen S.Y. et al.

Efforts to reduce nosocomial spread of COVID-19 have resulted in unprecedented disruptions in clinical workflows and numerous unexpected stressors for imaging departments across the country. Our purpose was to more precisely evaluate these impacts on radiologists through a nationwide survey. Methods: A 43-item anonymous questionnaire was adapted from the AO Spine Foundation's survey and distributed to 1521 unique email addresses using REDCap™ (Research Electronic Data Capture). Additional invitations were sent out to American Society of Emergency Radiology (ASER) and Association of University Radiologists (AUR) members. Responses were collected over a period of 8 days. Descriptive analyses and multivariate modeling were performed using SAS v9.4 software. Results: A total of 689 responses from radiologists across 44 different states met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis. As many as 61% of respondents rated their level of anxiety with regard to COVID-19 to be a 7 out of 10 or greater, and higher scores were positively correlated the standardized number of COVID-19 cases in a respondent's state (RR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02–1.21, p = 0.01). Citing the stressor of “personal health” was a strong predictor of higher anxiety scores (RR 1.23; 95% CI: 1.13–1.34, p < 0.01). By contrast, participants who reported needing no coping methods were more likely to self-report lower anxiety scores (RR 0.4; 95% CI: 0.3–0.53, p < 0.01). Conclusion: COVID-19 has had a significant impact on radiologists across the nation. As these unique stressors continue to evolve, further attention must be paid to the ways in which we may continue to support radiologists working in drastically altered practice environments and in remote settings.