Study: Perception of Canadian Health Workers around the COVID-19 outbreak.

on 01/04/2020

Montréal /Research firm Potloc, releases data from a study conducted in partnership with the Canadian Public Health Association, which surveyed 578 health workers attending the COVID-19 crisis in Canada. The result is transparent, live and localized data that journalists, health professionals, and the government can use to inform their decisions. Using interest-based and geotargeting capabilities by profession, the Montréal firm was able to reach front-line workers through social media platforms, and extract firsthand accounts of what they are experiencing in the battle against the outbreak.

Why was the research conducted?

“We wanted to give a voice to those brave workers who are keeping us safe day and night, risking their own health to vanquish the pandemic. We decided to partner with the Canadian Public Health Association and use our research methodology to safely reach people via social networks at the places that no one else can enter. The fact that 47% of health workers express their need for psychological support is eye-opening, so we wanted them to be heard” said Rodolphe Barrere, CEO at Potloc.
The study anonymously surveyed health workers about their level of preparedness and what resources they need to tackle the pandemic, their perception of the government’s response, their recommendations to the general public, and their personal accounts from the front-line, among other subjects.

How was the research conducted?

The study was conducted using Potloc's methodology, using geotargeting and interest-based targeting to reach Canadian health professionals working on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis via social networks.

Market research company Potloc, in partnership with the Canadian Public Health Association, has conducted a survey between April 1-6 2020 among 578 health workers who are involved in initiatives to battle the Covid-19 outbreak. Respondents were recruited through an advertising campaign on Facebook and LinkedIn. Health workers targeted by the ad campaign had the opportunity to share the survey with their networks of colleagues also involved in initiatives against Covid-19. As non-probability sampling was used, margin of error does not apply.

What are the key findings of the research?

Key quantitative insights of the study include:

- 47% of surveyed health workers say they need psychological support, followed by training (45%) and additional medical staff (40%);
- More than half (55%) of health workers surveyed feel that they still have the situation under control but they might soon be overwhelmed;
- Overall, respondents do not feel that they are sufficiently prepared to handle the current situation (2.7 on a 5 point scale);
- Respondents mostly associate negative feelings with their current work situation: anxious (67%), unsafe (49%), overwhelmed (40%), helpless (29%), sleep-deprived (28%) and discouraged (28%);
- Health workers are unsatisfied with the general public's behaviour during the outbreak (2.5 on a 5 point scale).
- We asked Canadian health workers to rank their provincial government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak from 1 to 5. The Atlantic provinces (3.41) and Quebec (3.2) ranked the highest, with the Prairies coming last with 2.65.
- We surveyed Canadian health workers about the equipment they needed the most in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. As expected, masks and protective gowns were top of mind. Ventilators, however, came in 7th place after safety goggles, hand sanitizer, gloves, and disinfectant. Ontario and Atlantic Canada showed the most need for protective equipment.
- We surveyed more than 500 Canadian health workers on the front line of the COVID-19 battle and asked them their opinion on what groups were most likely to develop complications from the virus. The elderly (89%) and people with pre-existing conditions (77%) were top of mind, followed by essential workers, the homeless, and adults between the ages of 30 and 59.

The survey also includes over 3,000 qualitative in-depth replies to open-ended questions that give a unique view on what health workers are seeing and feeling in the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak. Topics include accounts of their daily life at work, suggestions to improve government and public response, and things the general public can do to help, among others

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Contributor's Name: Reinaldo Calcaño