Maternal and neonatal health care worker well-being and patient safety climate amid the COVID-19 pandemic

J Perinatol. 2021 May;41(5):961-969. doi: 10.1038/s41372-021-01014-9. Epub 2021 Mar 16.


Objective: To assess maternal and neonatal healthcare workers (HCWs) perspectives on well-being and patient safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study design: Anonymous survey of HCW well-being, burnout, and patient safety over the prior conducted in June 2020. Results were analyzed by job position and burnout status.

Result: We analyzed 288 fully completed surveys. In total, 66% of respondents reported symptoms of burnout and 73% felt burnout among their co-workers had significantly increased. Workplace strategies to address HCW well-being were judged by 34% as sufficient. HCWs who were "burned out" reported significantly worse well-being and patient safety attributes. Compared to physicians, nurses reported higher rates of unprofessional behavior (37% vs. 14%, p = 0.027) and difficulty focusing on work (59% vs. 36%, p = 0.013).

Conclusion: Three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, HCW well-being was substantially compromised, with negative ramifications for patient safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal-Child Health Services / organization & administration
  • Patient Safety*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires