Healthcare Faculty and Staff – Please take this brief anonymous research survey (IRB#:  IRB00248237) to help us better understand the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more below, and click here to take the survey.

Title: Moral Distress in the Midst of a Pandemic: A Survey PI: Adrian S. Dobs, MD MHS IRB#: IRB00248237

Sponsor: Investigator-Initiated

Description: The world is currently in the midst of a deadly viral pandemic. A pandemic “can place extraordinary and sustained demands on public health and health systems and on providers of essential community services.”

Moral distress occurs when a healthcare professional recognizes a moral/ethical problem, feels the responsibility to do something about it, but cannot act or speak up in a way that in consistent with their own professional integrity, due to various internal and external constraints.

This study aims to elicit the moral/ethical dilemmas facing healthcare professionals at this juncture in the evolution of the pandemic and to also elicit any characteristic features of moral resiliency that help sustain integrity during these challenging circumstances. We intend to conduct follow-up surveys at set intervals to explore multiprofessional perspectives at later stages of the pandemic.

By eliciting healthcare professionals’ perspectives of the moral distress they are experiencing during and after a pandemic, organizations, systems, teams, and individuals can potentially identify mitigating strategies to better support preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.

To our knowledge, this is the first study to date, which will identify the morally/ethically distressing circumstances that are most relevant to healthcare professionals experiencing a pandemic through the framework of professional integrity.

Who Are the Participants in the Trial?: Attending Physicians, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Residents, Fellows, Physician Assistants/ Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapists/Occupational therapists, Pharmacists, Social Workers, and Chaplains who are:

  • JHH employees
  • JHU School of Medicine employees
  • JHHS employees
  • Employees at Sibley Memorial & Suburban Hospitals
  • Employees at the following JHCRN Sites:
    • Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC)
    • Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute (AHN)
    • Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC)
    • Reading Hospital Tower Health (RH)
  • Members of Healthcare Professional Associations & Organizations indicating interest in participating in this survey (e.g., Maryland Nursing Association)

Are There Any Interventions? No.

Will Any of My COVID-19 Test Results Be Available to Johns Hopkins Occupational Health or My Supervisor? Not Applicable. This is a voluntary, anonymous survey.

Will I Be Paid for My Participation in the Study? No

Where Do I Have to Go for Study Visits? Not Applicable.  This is a voluntary, anonymous Qualtrics survey on a secure website.  There are 2 optional follow-up surveys:  the 1st after 3 months; the 2nd after 6 months.

Contact Person If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact the study team directly at:

Principal Investigator: Adrian S. Dobs, MD, MHS (adobs@jhu.edu)

Co-Investigator: Cynda H. Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN (Crushto1@jhu.edu)

Click here to take the survey.

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