The purpose of this study was to evaluate role conflict between professional
and familial responsibilities among obstetric health care providers during a
natural disaster between those required to stay in the hospital versus those
who were at home during a catastrophic weather event.
A survey was used of obstetric attending and resident physicians in the
Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
following Hurricane Harvey on August 26, 2017.
Ninety one of 103 physicians (88%) completed the survey. Survey
responses were compared between physicians who worked in the hospital (n
= 47) versus those who were at home (n = 44) during the storm
and its immediate aftermath. Physicians in the hospital and at home agreed
(47% and 48%, respectively, P = 0.94)
that professional duties conflicted with family obligations and felt torn
(49% and 55%, respectively, P = 0.48)
regarding family obligations. A majority of homebound health care providers
disagreed with the statement that professional duties override family
responsibilities, whereas less than half of in-hospital providers felt the
same (68% at-home versus 47% of the hospital-team,
P = 0.10).
As organizations prepare for possible catastrophic situations, institutions
must realize that obstetric health care providers will experience role
conflict between professional and family responsibilities. (Disaster
Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:33–37)