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COVID-19 and Breast Radiologist Wellness: Impact of Gender, Financial Loss, and Childcare Need.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the emotional and financial impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on breast radiologists to understand potential consequences on physician wellness and gender disparities in radiology.


A 41-question survey was distributed from June to September 2020 to members of the Society of Breast Imaging and the National Consortium of Breast Centers. Psychological distress and financial loss scores were calculated on the basis of survey responses and compared across gender and age subgroups. A multivariate logistic model was used to identify factors associated with psychological distress scores.


A total of 628 surveys were completed (18% response rate); the mean respondent age was 52 ± 10 years, and 79% were women. Anxiety was reported by 68% of respondents, followed by sadness (41%), sleep problems (36%), anger (25%), and depression (23%). A higher psychological distress score correlated with female gender (odds ratio [OR], 1.9; P = .001), younger age (OR, 0.8 per SD; P = .005), and a higher financial loss score (OR, 1.4; P < .0001). Participants whose practices had not initiated wellness efforts specific to COVID-19 (54%) had higher psychological distress scores (OR, 1.4; P = .03). Of those with children at home, 38% reported increased childcare needs, higher in women than men (40% versus 29%, P < .001). Thirty-seven percent reported that childcare needs had adversely affected their jobs, which correlated with higher psychological distress scores (OR, 2.2-3.3; P < .05).


Psychological distress was highest among younger and female respondents and those with greater pandemic-specific childcare needs and financial loss. Practice-initiated COVID-19-specific wellness efforts were associated with decreased psychological distress. Policies are needed to mitigate pandemic-specific burnout and worsening gender disparities.

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