Author(s): Okpani, A.I., Barker, S., Lockhart, K. Grant, J., Delgado-Ron, J.A., Zungu, M., et al.

Source: JOEM • Volume 64, Number 9, September 2022


Objective: The aims of this study were to investigate occupational and non– work-related risk factors of coronavirus disease 2019 among health care workers (HCWs) in Vancouver Coastal Health, British Columbia, Canada, and to examine how HCWs described their experiences.

Methods: This was a matched case-control study using data from online and phone questionnaires with optional open-ended questions completed by HCWs who sought severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 testing between March 2020 and March 2021. Conditional logistic regression and thematic analysis were utilized.

Results: Providing direct care to coronavirus disease 2019 patients during the intermediate cohort period (adjusted odds ratio, 1.90; 95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 3.46) and community exposure to a known case in the late cohort period (adjusted odds ratio, 3.595%; confidence interval, 1.86 to 6.83) were associated with higher infection odds. Suboptimal communication, mental stress, and situations perceived as unsafe were common sources of dissatisfaction.

Conclusions: Varying levels of risk between occupational groups call for wider targeting of infection prevention measures. Strategies for mitigating community exposure and supporting HCW resilience are required.

Keywords: COVID-19; epidemiology; health personnel, infections; occupational health; workplace