Changing self-concept in the time of COVID-19: a close look at physician reflections on social media.

Chiam, Min, Ho, Chong Yao, Quah, Elaine, Chua, Keith Zi Yuan, Ng, Caleb Wei Hao, Lim, Elijah Gin, Tan, Javier Rui Ming, Wong, Ruth Si Man, Ong, Yun Ting, Soong, Yoke Lim
et al (show 6 more authors) (2022) Changing self-concept in the time of COVID-19: a close look at physician reflections on social media. Philosophy, ethics, and humanities in medicine : PEHM, 17 (1). 1 - ?.

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<h4>Background</h4>The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the healthcare landscape drastically. Stricken by sharp surges in morbidity and mortality with resource and manpower shortages confounding their efforts, the medical community has witnessed high rates of burnout and post-traumatic stress amongst themselves. Whilst the prevailing literature has offered glimpses into their professional war, no review thus far has collated the deeply personal reflections of physicians and ascertained how their self-concept, self-esteem and perceived self-worth has altered during this crisis. Without adequate intervention, this may have profound effects on their mental and physical health, personal relationships and professional efficacy.<h4>Methods</h4>With mentions of the coronavirus pervading social media by the millions, this paper set out to collate and thematically analyse social media posts containing first-person physician reflections on how COVID-19 affected their lives and their coping mechanisms. A consistent search strategy was employed and a PRISMA flowchart was used to map out the inclusion/exclusion criteria.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 590 social media posts were screened, 511 evaluated, and 108 included for analysis. Salient themes identified include Disruptions to Personal Psycho-Emotional State, Disruptions to Professional Care Delivery, Concern for Family, Response from Institution, Response from Society and Coping Mechanisms.<h4>Conclusion</h4>It is evident that the distress experienced by physicians during this time has been manifold, multi-faceted and dominantly negative. Self-concepts were distorted with weakened self-esteem and perceived self-worth observed. The Ring Theory of Personhood (RToP) was adopted to explain COVID-19's impact on physician personhood as it considers existential, individual, relational and social concepts of the self. These entwined self-concepts serve as 'compensatory' to one another, with coping mechanisms buffering and fortifying the physician's overall personhood. With healthcare institutions playing a vital role in providing timely and targeted support, it was further proposed that a comprehensive assessment tool based on the RToP could be developed to detect at-risk physicians and evaluate the presence and effectiveness of established support structures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Self Concept, Physicians, Pandemics, Social Media, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 12:21
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2022 08:37
DOI: 10.1186/s13010-021-00113-x
Open Access URL: