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Predictors of Health-Care Workers’ Unwillingness to Continue Working During the Peak of COVID-19 in Western Ethiopia: An Extended Parallel-Process Model Study

Authors Woyessa AH, Oluma A, Palanichamy T, Kebede B, Abdissa E, Labata BG, Alemu T, Assefa L

Received 22 October 2020

Accepted for publication 26 February 2021

Published 17 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1165—1173

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S288003

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto


Ashenafi Habte Woyessa,1 Adugna Oluma,2 Thanasekaran Palanichamy,3 Birtukan Kebede,2 Eba Abdissa,3 Busha Gamachu Labata,4 Tamirat Alemu,2 Lamessa Assefa5

1Department of Emergency and Critical Care Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Institute of Health Science, Wollega University, Nekemte, Oromia, Ethiopia; 2Department of Nursing, Institute of Health Science, Wollega University, Nekemte, Oromia, Ethiopia; 3Department of Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Institute of Health Science, Wollega University, Nekemte, Oromia, Ethiopia; 4Department of Pharmacy, Institute of Health Science, Wollega University, Nekemte, Oromia, Ethiopia; 5Department of Public Health, Institute of Health Science, Wollega University, Nekemte, Oromia, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Ashenafi Habte Woyessa
Department of Emergency and Critical Care Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Institute of Health Science, Wollega University, P.O Box 395, Nekemte, Oromia, Ethiopia
Tel +251 92-218-3065
Fax +251 576617980
Email [email protected]

Purpose: Willingness to work in disasters is context-specific and corresponds to the nature, magnitude, and threats posed by a particular public health emergency. None us is certain that our health professionals will continue to provide service should the COVID-19 pandemic crisis climb to its worst level. It was with this uncertainty in mind that this study was done to assess predictors of the unwillingness of health-care workers (HCWs) to continue providing their professional services during the climax of the COVID-19 crisis.
Methods: This was a facility-based descriptive cross-sectional study undertaken among 633 HCWsin western Ethiopia.
Results: Overall, 205 (32.4%) providers said that they would be unwilling to continue work if COVID-19 peaked. Of these, 176 (27.9%) respondents reported that they would stop going in to work before they were at greatest risk. Statistical analysis performed to predict HCWs unwillingness’ to continue work at peak COVID-19 showed male sex (AOR 11.4, 95% CI 8.32– 12.6), younger age (AOR 25.3, 95% CI 4.61– 40.67), lack of experience in handling similar pandemics (AOR 5.15, 95% CI 1.1– 255), and low perceived level of hospital preparedness (AOR 2.05, 95% CI 0.80– 5.21) were predictors of unwillingness. In accordance with the extended parallel-process model, higher threat perception (P≤ 0.001) and low efficacy perception (P≤ 0.040) were associated with unwillingness of the HCWs to continue working.
Conclusion: The proportion of HCWs unwilling to continue their job during COVID-19 is sufficient to affect efforts tof fight the pandemic. As the question of whether our HCWs must risk themselves to treat COVID-19 patients does not have a uniform answer, working on predictors of potential unwillingness is of paramount importance.

Keywords: COVID-19, unwillingness, pandemic, health-care workers

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