Theses Doctoral

Predictors of Burnout for Frontline Nurses in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Well-Being, Satisfaction With Life, Social Support, Fear, Work Setting Factors, Psychological Impacts, and Self-Efficacy for Nursing Tasks

Harry, Sasha

The online convenience sample of 249 nurses all treated COVID-19 patients in the past year—with 45.0% in the emergency department and 36.9% in intensive care. Nurses were 68.7% female with a mean age of 32.17 years, as well as mostly white (69.1%). Some 28.5% had COVID-19, with 16.1% testing positive more than once in the past year.

Using paired t-tests comparing scores for before versus during the pandemic, their physical health status and mental/emotional status were each significantly worse during the pandemic, their level of self-efficacy for performing nursing tasks was significantly worse during the pandemic, and their fear level was significantly higher during the pandemic. Nurses negotiated the pandemic with just moderate social support, while having moderate work setting concerns (e.g., safety), and rating the work climate as “to some extent” less favorable than before the pandemic.
Nurses suffered moderate burnout using the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory—while females suffered higher burnout than males (p = .000) and non-whites higher burnout than whites. Past month mean Perceived Stress Scale scores were moderate. Nurses used alcohol/drugs closest to 30% of the time to cope with stress, while 35.7% increased use during the pandemic. They reported moderate mental distress over the past year, while 61.0% reported insomnia, 57.4% anxiety, 39.0% depression, 35.7% trauma, and 27.3% received counseling. Nurses reported moderate well-being over the past two weeks, and moderately high satisfaction with life.
Backward stepwise regression found higher burnout significantly predicted by: fewer years working in nursing; higher Body Mass Index; more concerns at work (e.g., safety); higher past month perceived stress; higher past year mental distress; and, lower past two weeks’ well-being—with 52.2% of the variance predicted.
Qualitative data reinforce important recommendations.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Wallace, Barbara C.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 1, 2021