The purpose of the current study was to examine the impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) on allied health professionals work environment, access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing, and mental health. A 34-question survey was developed and distributed electronically to allied health professionals through listservs of professional organizations and social media groups. A total of 921 responses from allied health professionals in a variety of work settings were analyzed. The majority of allied health professionals had access to medical-grade PPE and agreed with their clinics decisions to stay open or closed. Private practices appeared to be the most negatively impacted with regards to employment in the form of pay reductions, furloughs, lay-offs, or the requirement of using paid time off. Importantly, 86% of all respondents, irrespective of employment status, reported feeling stressed with regards to changes in their work environment and transmission of the virus. However, levels of stress were dependent upon access to PPE and mental health resources. Specifically, those with access to mental health support reported lower stress levels than those without such access. These results highlight the need for continuous monitoring of mental health for allied health professionals in order to inform clinic and hospital policies for PPE and the development of brief interventions to mitigate adverse long-term mental health outcomes.
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