Perception of the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic among medical professionals in Germany: results from a nationwide online survey

Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1):1590-1599. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2020.1785951.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented global challenge and implicates a wide range of burden on medical professionals. Here, we evaluated the perception of the COVID-19 pandemic among medical professionals in Germany. Methods: A total of n = 2827 medical professionals participated in an online survey between 27 March and 11 April. Results: While most participants stated that Germany was well prepared and rated the measures taken by their employer as positive, subgroup analyses revealed decisive differences. The preventive measures were rated significantly worse by nurses compared to doctors (p < 0.001) and by participants from ambulatory healthcare centres compared to participants from maximum-care hospitals (p < 0.001). Importantly, shortage of protective medical equipment was reported more commonly in the ambulatory sector (p < 0.001) and in East German federal states (p = 0.004). Moreover, the majority of health care professionals (72.4%) reported significant restrictions of daily work routine. Finally, over 60% of medical professionals had concerns regarding their own health, which were more pronounced among female participants (p = 0.024). Conclusion: This survey may indicate starting points on how medical professionals could be supported in carrying out their important activities during the ongoing and future healthcare challenges.

Keywords: COVID-19; PPE; burden; healthcare workers; nurses; personal protective equipment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus / physiology
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Perception
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult