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COVID-19 stigma associates with burnout among healthcare providers: Evidence from Taiwanese physicians and nurses



During pandemics like SARS-CoV-2, healthcare providers' well-being and morale are in particular at stake. Burnout may substantially hinder the well-being and morale of healthcare providers, challenging our efforts at disease containment. This study investigated the relationship between perceived COVID-19 stigma and burnout symptoms among physicians and nurses. We further aimed to identify potential factors that may moderate this relationship, including profession, clinical contact with COVID-19 patients, and prior experience with 2003 SARS-CoV-1.


We used a web-based, structured survey from March 12th to 29th, 2020 to collect cross-sectional, self-reported data. Participants were provided with a link to the survey which took them on average 5-8 minutes. Survey consisted of demographic characteristics, clinical experiences, perceived COVID-19 related stigma, and burnout symptoms. Linear regression with bootstrapping techniques was adopted to test the relations between stigma and burnout, as well as other potential moderators, while adjusting for demographic and clinical factors.


Of the 1421 consented respondents, 357 identified as physicians while 1064 identified as nurses. Participants reported some levels of stigma, and noticeable burnout symptoms. Burnout symptoms were positively correlated with COVID-19 stigma, profession, and currently care for confirmed/suspected COVID-19 patients. The interaction between stigma and profession (Stigma × Nurses) but no other interaction terms reached the significance level, suggesting that the slope for nurses was flatter than the slope for physicians.


The study results suggest that COVID-19 stigma may contribute to burnout among physicians and nurses, and this relation may not vary across clinical roles and experiences but profession.

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