Healthcare worker burnout during a persistent crisis: a case-control study.

Appelbom S, Nordström A, Finnes A, Wicksell RK, Bujacz A

Occup Med (Lond) - (-) - [2024-05-13; online 2024-05-13]

During the immediate outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, burnout symptoms increased among healthcare workers. Knowledge is needed on how early symptoms developed during the persistent crisis that followed the first pandemic wave. To investigate if high levels of burnout symptoms during the first pandemic wave led to high burnout and depressive symptoms up to a year later, and if participation in psychological support was related to lower levels of symptoms. A longitudinal case-control study followed 581 healthcare workers from two Swedish hospitals. Survey data were collected with a baseline in May 2020 and three follow-up assessments until September 2021. The case group was participants reporting high burnout symptoms at baseline. Logistic regression analyses were performed separately at three follow-ups with case-control group assignment as the main predictor and burnout and depression symptoms as outcomes, controlling for frontline work, changes in work tasks and psychological support participation. One out of five healthcare workers reported high burnout symptoms at baseline. The case group was more likely to have high burnout and depressive symptoms at all follow-ups. Participation in psychological support was unrelated to decreased burnout and depressive symptoms at any of the follow-ups. During a persistent crisis, healthcare organizations should be mindful of psychological reactions among staff and who they place in frontline work early in the crisis. To better prepare for future healthcare crises, preventive measures on burnout are needed, both at workplaces and as part of the curricula in medical and nursing education.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38738440

DOI 10.1093/occmed/kqae032

Crossref 10.1093/occmed/kqae032

pii: 7670882

Publications 9.5.0