Mental Health Among Otolaryngology Resident and Attending
Physicians During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Study
Background: Otolaryngologists are amongst the highest risk for COVID-19 exposure.
Methods: A cross-sectional, survey-based, national study evaluating academic otolaryngologists. Burnout, anxiety, distress, and depression were assessed by the single-item Mini-Z burnout assessment, 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, 15-item Impact of Event Scale, and 2-item Patient Health Questionnaire, respectively.
Results: 349 physicians completed the survey. 165 (47.3%) were residents and 212 (60.7%) were males. Anxiety, distress, burnout and depression were reported in 167 (47.9%), 210 (60.2%), 76 (21.8%) and 37 (10.6%) physicians respectively. Attendings had decreased burnout relative to residents (OR 0.28, CI [0.11-0.68]; p=0.005). Females had increased burnout (OR 1.93, CI [1.12.-3.32]; p=0.018), anxiety (OR 2.53, CI [1.59-4.02]; p<0.005), and distress (OR 2.68, CI [1.64-4.37]; p<0.005). Physicians in states with greater than 20,000 positive cases had increased distress (OR 2.01, CI [1.22-3.31]; p=0.006).
Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of burnout, anxiety, and distress is high among academic otolaryngologists.