RESEARCH ARTICLE


The Needs of Medical Professionals in Performing their Duties during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Research Study



Kanjanee Phanphairoj1
iD
, Kasorn Muijeen1, *
iD
, Sutthisan Chumwichan2
iD

1 Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University, Prathum Thani, Thailand
2 Independent Researcher, Bangkok, Thailand


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Phanphairoj et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University, Prathum Thani, Thailand; E-mail: fon_kasorn@hotmail.com


Abstract

Introduction:

The COVID-19 pandemic situation is a huge global medical and public health issue that has affected people’s physical health and mental well-being. Under the current circumstances, medical professionals are at risk of stress, anxiety, and subsequent mental health problems.

Methods:

The present study aimed to explore the needs of medical professionals in terms of promoting their mental health while performing their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purposive sampling method was used to select 43 medical professionals in the following five groups: physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and medical technicians, who were frontline health workers or had the risk of contracting infection from infected patients in Thai hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data were collected using a semi-structured online interview. The informants were asked to talk about the need for mental health promotion of medical professionals while performing their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic for approximately 60 minutes. Content analysis and a reliability test were conducted according to the qualitative research process.

Results:

The research results consisted of three main themes: 1) physical safety welfare, composed of COVID-19 prevention and COVID-19 treatment; 2) sources of mental support, comprising emotional support and electronic or media support; and 3) support from central professional agencies, including rewards and recognition and occupational protection.

Conclusion:

The medical professionals in this study suggested that the mental health promotion during the COVID-19 pandemic should cover the physical, mental, and social dimensions. Thus, a mental healthcare approach for medical professionals should be developed by focusing on social support.

Keywords: Medical professionals, Needs, COVID-19, Qualitative research, Social support, Emotional support.