Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on palliative care delivery and patient experiences. Less is known about the experiences and responses of palliative care clinicians. Objective: We aimed to describe the pandemic's impact on pediatric palliative care clinicians' personal and professional well-being. Methods: The Palliative Assessment of Needed DEvelopments & Modifications In the Era of Coronavirus (PANDEMIC) cross-sectional online survey was posted on 7 professional listservs between May and June 2020. We conducted a conventional content analysis of written responses to three open-ended questions regarding the lasting impact of COVID-19. Results: Of 207 multidisciplinary respondents from 80 US cities, 148 (71%) provided written responses to open-ended questions, and 62 responses (42%) were related to personal, professional, or existential well-being. These responses were sorted into 4 major categories: personal burdens, professional burdens, personal benefits, and professional benefits. Respondents described burdens more commonly than they did benefits (67% vs. 33% of comments, respectively). Personal burdens related to increased fear and uncertainty, fear of bringing the virus home, and a sense of collective grief. Professional burdens included a sense of exhaustion, a challenge with work-life balance, personal experiences with colleagues infected with the virus, and considerations of leaving health care altogether. Personal benefits included lessons learned, an evolving sense of what matters, and improved work-life balance. Professional benefits included opportunities for professional development and a sense of professional purpose. Conclusion: Pediatric palliative care clinicians perceive a breadth of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ongoing clinician assessment is important as the pandemic continues.
- work-life balance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine