Quality of life and perceived financial implications among otorhinolaryngologists during the COVID-19 pandemic across India
Objective: The changing trend in medical practice, uncertainties and monetary apprehensions due to COVID-19 pandemic may influence the sense of well-being among otorhinolaryngologists. The present study was conducted to evaluate quality of life (QOL) and perceived financial implications in otorhinolaryngologists during the COVID-19 pandemic across India.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among otorhinolaryngology specialists across India using WHOQOL-BREF and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Financial Well-Being Scale questionnaires on Google Forms, which was kept open for the latter half of July 2020.
Results: A total of 358 responses were obtained; the response rate was 26.64%. Twenty-four percent of respondents worked exclusively in academic settings; 40.22% of specialists had over ten years of work experience. Average monthly income in 2019 was between 1-3 lakhs Indian Rupees (INR) in 43.85%, while in 2020, 62.57% of the specialists had an average monthly income of below one lakh INR; this difference was highly statistically significant (p<0.001). Mean WHOQOL-BREF scores for physical, psychological, social, and environmental domains were 68.8±1, 62.3±0.75, 68.9±1.17, and 65.8±1.01 respectively; mean CFPB financial well-being scale score was 55.5±0.66. QOL and financial well-being were better in otolaryngologists older than 60 years, male specialists, and private consultants.
Conclusion: There has been a tremendous bearing on quality of life and financial well-being among otorhinolaryngologists in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study outcome may help otolaryngologists comprehend and perceive the extent to which it has affected their professional and personal lives and explore ways and means to face and overcome the situation.