The aim of this study was to estimate self-perception of anguish and low quality of life among health care professionals who cared for the dying patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and to determine the characteristics of health care professionals and patients and end-of-life care.
An online survey that included health care professionals who cared for the dying patient from July 1 to October 31, 2020 was conducted. Low quality of life, anguish, characteristics of patients and health care professionals, and end-of-life care were recorded. Poisson regression was performed to assess the predictors of anguish and low quality of life.
A total of 102 health care professionals, including 14 males (13.7%), with a median age of 37 years, composed of 41 physicians (40.2%), 36 physiotherapists (35.3%), and 25 nurses (24.5%) were included in this study. Self-perception of anguish occurred in 69.6% and was associated with physicians and disagreement with end-of-life care offered. Low quality of life was reported in 64.7% and was associated with not having time to talk to patients’ relatives. The agreement that medical care was enough reduced self-perception of low quality of life.
Self-reported anguish was more frequent in physicians and when the disagreement about end-of-life care occurred. Low quality of life was more frequent when health care professionals did not have time to talk to patients’ relatives and was less frequent when health care professionals agreed that medical care was enough. Strategies should be done by health services to reduce the impact of the pandemic on health care professionals.
COVID-19; COVID-19 pandemic; Palliative care; End-of-life care; Assisted death; Grief