Assistant Professor of Psychology, Anandi Ehman, and colleagues recently published an article entitled, "Exposure to Potentially Morally Injurious Events and Mental Health Outcomes Among Frontline Workers Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic” in the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.
In this paper, the researchers examined frontline workers’ (N= 854 hospital personnel & N=473 emergency responders) exposure to potentially morally injurious events (PMIEs) from April to June 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic. PMIEs are events wherein an individual may experience behavioral, social, psychological, or spiritual problems or distress, resulting from perceived challenges to moral beliefs and expectations (e.g., having to decide how to allocate limited medical resources to patients). Associations between exposure to PMIEs and mental & behavioral health outcomes were explored as part of this study. 20-30% of respondents endorsed experience of a potentially morally injurious event, and exposure to PMIEs was associated with greater psychological distress (e.g., symptoms of depression, anxiety, & stress) and functional impairment (e.g., burnout). This work highlights the ongoing impact of moral & ethical challenges experienced by frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can read the full article here: https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2022-88052-001.pdf