Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on burnout and perceived workplace quality among addiction treatment providers

Andrea Fentem, Raven Riordan, Christine Doroshenko, Xiao Li, Erin Kasson, Devin Banks, Rachel P. Winograd, Patricia Cavazos-Rehg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on work satisfaction, work-related stress, and perceived work quality among substance use treatment providers to better understand challenges faced among this group during the pandemic. Methods: Participants of this study were 91 addiction treatment providers (e.g., therapists, physicians, community support specialists, administrative staff) recruited from various treatment facilities (e.g., inpatient and outpatient settings). Mixed method analyses were conducted to assess self-reported burnout, sources of work-related stress, and perceived work quality during the pandemic. Responses from providers reporting COVID-19 related decreases in work quality were compared to responses from providers who reported their quality of work had increased or remained the same. Results: Results demonstrated half of providers (51%) reported their quality of work had decreased. This perceived decrease in quality of work was associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion (M = 17.41 vs. M = 12.48, p = 0.002), workplace stress (M = 42.80 vs. M = 30.84, p = 0.001), as well as decreased enjoyment of work (83% vs. 51%, p = 0.001) and decreased personal accomplishment (M = 20.64 vs. M = 23.05 p = 0.001). Qualitative investigations further illustrated that increased hours, changes in work schedules, work-life balance challenges, difficulties with client communication, and increased client needs were contributing factors increasing stress/burnout and decreasing perceived work quality. Conclusions: Addiction treatment providers experience high levels of burnout and workplace stress. Additionally, many individuals perceived a decrease in their quality of work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addiction treatment facility administration should address these challenges to support the well-being of clinical staff and the clients they serve both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalAddiction Science and Clinical Practice
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • COVID-19
  • Providers
  • Stress
  • Substance use

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