Child Care Stress Affects Health, Work of U.S. HCWs During Pandemic

FRIDAY, July 22, 2022 — Child care stress (CCS) during the pandemic is associated with anxiety, depression, burnout, intent to reduce hours, and intent to leave among health care workers (HCWs), according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Elizabeth M. Harry, M.D., from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues assessed whether high CCS was associated with burnout, intent to reduce clinical hours, and intent to leave the job among U.S. HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis included survey responses from 58,408 HCWs (26.9 percent physicians and 19.5 percent nurses) from 208 organizations.

The researchers found that 21 percent of HCWs reported CCS, which was more frequent among racial and ethnic-minority individuals and those not identifying race or ethnicity versus White respondents. Women were more likely than men to report CCS (21.1 versus 17.9 percent; odds ratio, 1.22). Respondents with CCS had greater odds of anxiety or depression (odds ratio, 2.15) and greater odds of burnout (odds ratio, 1.80) versus individuals without CCS. Additionally, high CCS was associated with greater odds of intent to reduce hours (odds ratio, 1.91) and to leave (odds ratio, 1.28).

“Addressing CCS may improve HCWs’ quality of life and HCW retention and work participation,” the authors write.

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