Using Twitter Data to Examine Compassion Fatigue In Frontline Healthcare Workers Before and After the Onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic



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Over the course of the coronavirus disease-COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1,500 frontline healthcare workers have died. Coupled with these death rates came a healthcare worker-mental health crisis. This research aims to understand how public discourse of healthcare worker-related compassion fatigue on Twitter has changed pre- and post- the onset of COVID-19. This was done by sourcing tweets related to compassion fatigue using the Twitter API v2.0, cleaning and filtering the tweets to ensure relevancy and understanding, and performing Wilcoxon signed-rank t-test on the tweets. Results showed a significant difference in healthcare worker-related compassion fatigue tweets after the beginning of the pandemic when compared to before. There was a significant difference in tweets with the terms compassion fatigue, emotional exhaustion, moral distress, moral injury, secondary traumatic stress, and vicarious traumatization. The difference in compassion fatigue-related tweets can be attributed to increased media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The difference in tweets was likely a reflection of the increasing burden on frontline healthcare workers from increasing COVID-19 case rates, personal protective equipment shortages, and overflow of healthcare facilities with COVID-19 patients.



Coronavirus, COVID-19, Healthcare worker, Pandemic, Compassion fatigue, Twitter, Emotional exhaustion, Moral distress, Moral injury, Secondary traumatic stress, Vicarious traumatization, Burnout, Spiritual distress