healthcareCOVID: a national cross-sectional observational study identifying risk factors for developing suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in UK healthcare workers.

Journal article


Kua, J., Patel, R., Nurmi, E., Tian, S., Gill, H., Wong, D., Moorley, C., Nepogodiev, D., Ahmad, I. and El-Boghdadly, K. (2021). healthcareCOVID: a national cross-sectional observational study identifying risk factors for developing suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in UK healthcare workers. PeerJ. 9, p. e10891. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10891
AuthorsKua, J., Patel, R., Nurmi, E., Tian, S., Gill, H., Wong, D., Moorley, C., Nepogodiev, D., Ahmad, I. and El-Boghdadly, K.
AbstractTo establish the prevalence, risk factors and implications of suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection among healthcare workers in the United Kingdom (UK). Cross-sectional observational study. UK-based primary and secondary care. Healthcare workers aged ≥18 years working between 1 February and 25 May 2020. A composite endpoint of laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, or self-isolation or hospitalisation due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Of 6,152 eligible responses, the composite endpoint was present in 1,806 (29.4%) healthcare workers, of whom 49 (0.8%) were hospitalised, 459 (7.5%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 1,776 (28.9%) reported self-isolation. Overall, between 11,870 and 21,158 days of self-isolation were required by the cohort, equalling approximately 71 to 127 working days lost per 1,000 working days. The strongest risk factor associated with the presence of the primary composite endpoint was increasing frequency of contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE): 'Never' (reference), 'Rarely' (adjusted odds ratio 1.06, (95% confidence interval: [0.87-1.29])), 'Sometimes' (1.7 [1.37-2.10]), 'Often' (1.84 [1.28-2.63]), 'Always' (2.93, [1.75-5.06]). Additionally, several comorbidities (cancer, respiratory disease, and obesity); working in a 'doctors' role; using public transportation for work; regular contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients; and lack of PPE were also associated with the presence of the primary endpoint. A total of 1,382 (22.5%) healthcare workers reported lacking access to PPE items while having clinical contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 was more common in healthcare workers than in the general population and is associated with significant workforce implications. Risk factors included inadequate PPE, which was reported by nearly a quarter of healthcare workers. Governments and policymakers must ensure adequate PPE is available as well as developing strategies to mitigate risk for high-risk healthcare workers during future COVID-19 waves. [Abstract copyright: © 2021 Kua et al.]
KeywordsCOVID-19; Coronavirus; Healthcare workers; Medical workers; SARS-CoV-2
Year2021
JournalPeerJ
Journal citation9, p. e10891
PublisherPeerJ
ISSN2167-8359
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.10891
https://doi.org/10891
Publication dates
Online04 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited24 Mar 2022
Accepted12 Jan 2021
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