“I Knew I Could Make a Difference”

Motivations and Barriers to Engagement in Fighting the West African Ebola Outbreak Among U.S.-Based Health Professionals

Alexandra Greenberg, Georgia J. Michlig, Elizabeth Larson, Ilona Varallyay, Karen Chang, Blessing Enobun, Ellen Schenk, Benjamin Whong, Pamela Surkan, Caitlin E Kennedy, Steven A Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The 2014 West African Ebola outbreak was unprecedented in scale and required significant international assistance. Many U.S.-based health professionals traveled to West Africa to participate in the response, whereas others considered participation, but ultimately decided against it. This study explores motivators, facilitators, and barriers to international health care worker mobilization. We conducted 24 semistructured in-depth interviews and one focus group discussion with clinical and nonclinical responders and nonresponders. Responders reported feeling duty-bound to help, confidence in their training, and prior experience in humanitarian response. Media coverage was perceived to create environments of stigma and misinformation. Supportive workplaces and clear leave of absence policies facilitated engagement, whereas unsupportive workplaces posed barriers. Although nonresponders were included in the study, the dynamics of nonresponse were less clear and warrant further exploration. Understanding how to support health professionals in responding to outbreak situations may improve mobilization in future public health crises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalQualitative Health Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

Workplace
Disease Outbreaks
Motivation
Western Africa
Health
Focus Groups
Emotions
Public Health
Communication
Interviews
Delivery of Health Care

Keywords

  • Ebola
  • focus group
  • grounded theory
  • health care workers
  • interviews
  • motivations
  • outbreak control
  • qualitative
  • West Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

“I Knew I Could Make a Difference” : Motivations and Barriers to Engagement in Fighting the West African Ebola Outbreak Among U.S.-Based Health Professionals. / Greenberg, Alexandra; Michlig, Georgia J.; Larson, Elizabeth; Varallyay, Ilona; Chang, Karen; Enobun, Blessing; Schenk, Ellen; Whong, Benjamin; Surkan, Pamela; Kennedy, Caitlin E; Harvey, Steven A.

In: Qualitative Health Research, 01.04.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Greenberg, Alexandra ; Michlig, Georgia J. ; Larson, Elizabeth ; Varallyay, Ilona ; Chang, Karen ; Enobun, Blessing ; Schenk, Ellen ; Whong, Benjamin ; Surkan, Pamela ; Kennedy, Caitlin E ; Harvey, Steven A. / “I Knew I Could Make a Difference” : Motivations and Barriers to Engagement in Fighting the West African Ebola Outbreak Among U.S.-Based Health Professionals. In: Qualitative Health Research. 2018.
@article{2ad4f808b6334fbcb14183126d5dcf42,
title = "“I Knew I Could Make a Difference”: Motivations and Barriers to Engagement in Fighting the West African Ebola Outbreak Among U.S.-Based Health Professionals",
abstract = "The 2014 West African Ebola outbreak was unprecedented in scale and required significant international assistance. Many U.S.-based health professionals traveled to West Africa to participate in the response, whereas others considered participation, but ultimately decided against it. This study explores motivators, facilitators, and barriers to international health care worker mobilization. We conducted 24 semistructured in-depth interviews and one focus group discussion with clinical and nonclinical responders and nonresponders. Responders reported feeling duty-bound to help, confidence in their training, and prior experience in humanitarian response. Media coverage was perceived to create environments of stigma and misinformation. Supportive workplaces and clear leave of absence policies facilitated engagement, whereas unsupportive workplaces posed barriers. Although nonresponders were included in the study, the dynamics of nonresponse were less clear and warrant further exploration. Understanding how to support health professionals in responding to outbreak situations may improve mobilization in future public health crises.",
keywords = "Ebola, focus group, grounded theory, health care workers, interviews, motivations, outbreak control, qualitative, West Africa",
author = "Alexandra Greenberg and Michlig, {Georgia J.} and Elizabeth Larson and Ilona Varallyay and Karen Chang and Blessing Enobun and Ellen Schenk and Benjamin Whong and Pamela Surkan and Kennedy, {Caitlin E} and Harvey, {Steven A}",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1049732318771306",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Qualitative Health Research",
issn = "1049-7323",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - “I Knew I Could Make a Difference”

T2 - Motivations and Barriers to Engagement in Fighting the West African Ebola Outbreak Among U.S.-Based Health Professionals

AU - Greenberg, Alexandra

AU - Michlig, Georgia J.

AU - Larson, Elizabeth

AU - Varallyay, Ilona

AU - Chang, Karen

AU - Enobun, Blessing

AU - Schenk, Ellen

AU - Whong, Benjamin

AU - Surkan, Pamela

AU - Kennedy, Caitlin E

AU - Harvey, Steven A

PY - 2018/4/1

Y1 - 2018/4/1

N2 - The 2014 West African Ebola outbreak was unprecedented in scale and required significant international assistance. Many U.S.-based health professionals traveled to West Africa to participate in the response, whereas others considered participation, but ultimately decided against it. This study explores motivators, facilitators, and barriers to international health care worker mobilization. We conducted 24 semistructured in-depth interviews and one focus group discussion with clinical and nonclinical responders and nonresponders. Responders reported feeling duty-bound to help, confidence in their training, and prior experience in humanitarian response. Media coverage was perceived to create environments of stigma and misinformation. Supportive workplaces and clear leave of absence policies facilitated engagement, whereas unsupportive workplaces posed barriers. Although nonresponders were included in the study, the dynamics of nonresponse were less clear and warrant further exploration. Understanding how to support health professionals in responding to outbreak situations may improve mobilization in future public health crises.

AB - The 2014 West African Ebola outbreak was unprecedented in scale and required significant international assistance. Many U.S.-based health professionals traveled to West Africa to participate in the response, whereas others considered participation, but ultimately decided against it. This study explores motivators, facilitators, and barriers to international health care worker mobilization. We conducted 24 semistructured in-depth interviews and one focus group discussion with clinical and nonclinical responders and nonresponders. Responders reported feeling duty-bound to help, confidence in their training, and prior experience in humanitarian response. Media coverage was perceived to create environments of stigma and misinformation. Supportive workplaces and clear leave of absence policies facilitated engagement, whereas unsupportive workplaces posed barriers. Although nonresponders were included in the study, the dynamics of nonresponse were less clear and warrant further exploration. Understanding how to support health professionals in responding to outbreak situations may improve mobilization in future public health crises.

KW - Ebola

KW - focus group

KW - grounded theory

KW - health care workers

KW - interviews

KW - motivations

KW - outbreak control

KW - qualitative

KW - West Africa

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85046829667&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85046829667&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1049732318771306

DO - 10.1177/1049732318771306

M3 - Article

JO - Qualitative Health Research

JF - Qualitative Health Research

SN - 1049-7323

ER -