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OBJECTIVE: To understand the experiences and perceptions of sexual health professionals responding to the May 2022 mpox outbreak in the UK. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, anonymous, online survey collecting quantitative and qualitative data. Convenience sample recruited via an international network of sexual health and HIV clinicians responding to mpox and promoted through clinical associations and social media. Survey domains included: clinical workload; preparedness, support, and training; safety at work; vaccination; and well-being. Qualitative descriptive analysis of open-text responses was conducted to support interpretation of the quantitative data. PARTICIPANTS: Participants who were employed as sexual health professionals in the UK and had direct clinical experience of mpox were included in the analysis. The survey was completed between 11 August and 31 October 2022 by 139 respondents, the majority of whom were doctors (72.7%), cis-female (70.5%) and White (78.4%). RESULTS: 70.3% reported that they were required to respond to mpox in addition to their existing clinical responsibilities, with 46.8% working longer hours as a result. In the open-text data, respondents highlighted that workload pressures were exacerbated by a lack of additional funding for mpox, pre-existing pressures on sexual health services, and unrealistic expectations around capacity. 67.6% of respondents reported experiencing negative emotional impact due to their mpox work, with stress (59.0%), fatigue (43.2%) and anxiety (36.0%) being the most common symptoms. 35.8% stated that they were less likely to remain in their profession because of their experiences during the mpox outbreak. In the open-text data, these feelings were ascribed to post-COVID exhaustion, understaffing and frustration among some participants at the handling of the mpox response. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that sexual health services require increased funding and resources, along with evidence-based well-being interventions, to support sexual health professionals' outbreak preparedness and recovery.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





Cross-Sectional Studies, Health Workforce, Health policy, Public health, SEXUAL MEDICINE, Humans, Female, Cross-Sectional Studies, Mpox (monkeypox), Sexual Health, Disease Outbreaks, United Kingdom