Apheresis physician well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results of a survey

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Department of Medicine, Division of Transfusion Medicine

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Health and Medical Administration | Health Services Administration | Hematology | Infectious Disease | Mental and Social Health | Virus Diseases


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional stressors on physician lives. In this study, we report findings from a survey conducted among attending physician (AP) members of the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) to elucidate the status of their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as resources provided or actions taken by their institutions and themselves personally to maintain or improve their well-being.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A 17-question, voluntary, IRB-approved survey regarding well-being was distributed to the ASFA AP members between August 26, 2020 and September 16, 2020. The descriptive analyses were reported as number and frequency of respondents for each question. Non-parametric chi-square tests, ANOVA, and paired t-tests were performed to determine differences in categorical variables, changes in well-being scores, and compare time points, respectively.

RESULTS: Based on the responses of 70 attending level physicians representing the United States (U.S., 53, 75.7%) and outside the U.S. (17, 24.3%), the following were observed: (1) COVID-19 negatively affects the well-being of a sub-population of APs, (2) neither institutional nor individual measures to improve well-being completely resolved the problem of decreased AP well-being during the pandemic, and (3) personal actions may be superior to institutional resources.

CONCLUSION: There is a widespread decline in AP well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic that was not adequately improved by institutional or personal resources/actions taken. Institutions and physicians must work together to implement strategies including resources and actions that could further improve AP physician well-being during a public health crisis.


SARS-CoV-2, attending physicians, burnout, enzymatic nanomotors, personal protective equipment

DOI of Published Version



Tanhehco YC, Li Y, Zantek ND, Becker J, Alsammak M, Mikesell K, Wu DW, Foster T, Chhibber V, Martin MS, Wehrli G. Apheresis physician well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: Results of a survey. Transfusion. 2021 Feb 22. doi: 10.1111/trf.16340. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33619750. Link to article on publisher's site

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