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Addressing Burnout among the Frontline Healthcare Workforce during COVID-19: A Scoping Review & Expert Interviews

Lisa de Saxe Zerden, Brianna M. Lombardi, Erica L. Richman, Alexandria B. Forte & Meriel (Molly) McCollum
JHHSA, Vol. 44 No. 4, 302-332 (2022)

Purpose: To identify the strategies and interventions U.S. health systems implemented to reduce burnout and increase employee well-being during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A concurrent design included a scoping review of published literature on burnout interventions implemented for healthcare workers during COVID-19 and expert interviews with healthcare administrators involved in COVID-19 burnout response efforts (N = 5). Scoping review protocols included a-priori inclusion criteria, search terms, database selection, and data abstraction (N = 21 articles). Results: The scoping review identified eight types of interventions; spanning individual, organizational, and community systems. Qualitative data supported scoping review findings and uncovered themes related to communication, role shifting, and wellness initiatives as forms of burnout prevention and reduction. Conclusion: As COVID-19 continues, so too will worker stress, burden, and burnout. Health systems worked quickly and creatively to address the needs of the frontline healthcare workforce, yet more work is needed to sustain efforts over time.
Keywords: workforce burnout, burnout prevention, front-line workforce, COVID-19, scoping review, burnout interventions

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