PPE shortages compound physician burnout, stress — 4 study takeaways

Shortages of personal protective equipment are a significant contributor to burnout and stress among physicians and other healthcare professionals, according to a Medscape survey of 7,414 respondents in eight countries.

The survey was conducted from June 9 through July 20.

Four big takeaways:

1. In all eight countries, a noteworthy number of respondents reported lacking appropriate PPE "sometimes," "often" or "always" when treating COVID-19 patients.

2. The percent of respondents who said they've "always," "often" or "sometimes" treated COVID-19 patients without appropriate PPE:

U.S.: 23 percent
Brazil: 28 percent
France: 45 percent
Germany: 28 percent
Mexico: 40 percent
Portugal: 23 percent
Spain: 67 percent
United Kingdom: 34 percent

3. The percentage of physicians who "never" treated COVID-19 patients without appropriate PPE was highest in the U.S. (54 percent), Portugal (50 percent), Germany (46 percent) and the United Kingdom (45 percent).

4. Survey respondents indicated PPE shortages jeopardize not only their physical safety, but also their mental health.

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