Healthcare Workers' Willingness to Report to Work during an Influenza Pandemic: A Systematic Literature Review

Caren C. Rossow, Lana V. Ivanitskaya, Lawrence V. Fulton, William D. Fales

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: An effective response to a pandemic influenza assumes an adequate supply of a variety of skilled healthcare workers (HCWs). But what is known of HCWs' willingness to report to work? Method: We identified 206 relevant studies from 9 healthcare databases. Of 28 heterogeneous studies that met inclusion criteria, 18 used common methods for calculating percentages of HCWs willing to report to work. Their findings were evaluated in greater depth. Results: In 28 studies that summarized willingness to report to work of 31,633 workers, the percentage of HCWs willing to report to work varied between 23.10% and 93.10%. Scale type and dichotomization of self-report scales led to significantly different results. In 4 studies where 2097 workers responded to a survey during an actual event (2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza) percentage willing to report to work varied from 23.1% to 90.1%. In 6 studies with hypothetical scenarios of avian influenza 50%-82.50% of HCWs were willing to report to work. Conclusion: The studies we reviewed have methodological problems and inconsistencies in findings, even within relatively homogenous study subgroups. We caution emergency planners from relying on findings from any single study that estimates HCWs' mean willingness to report to work in a pandemic influenza outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-843
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • emergency management
  • healthcare workers
  • pandemic influenza
  • scale design
  • willingness to report to work

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