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Minerva Psichiatrica 2020 December;61(4):162-70

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.20.02090-7

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Exploring within and between gender differences in burnout levels in Italian nurses engaged in the COVID-19 health emergency: a cohort observational study

Elsa VITALE 1 , Vito GALATOLA 2, Rocco MEA 2

1 Department of Mental Health, Mental Health Center of Modugno, ASL Bari, Bari, Italy; 2 Occidental Hospital of Castellaneta, ASL Taranto, Taranto, Italy



BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the burnout syndrome among nurses who are engaged in the care of patients with Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A cohort observational- survey study was carried among Italian nurses who work in the Italian Intensive Care Unit (ICU) during the pandemic COVID-19 period.
METHODS: The questionnaire was published online on Google form, modules section, from March 25, 2020 to April 26, 2020. The questionnaire contained a first part of demographic data, as: gender, years of experience, if the nurse interviewed at the time of the pandemic COVID-19 event was already working in an ICU or if, due to the urgency of the context, he/she was transferred to an ICU that was set up during this period. Then, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) questionnaire was administered to evaluate the burnout level among nurses who are in direct contact with critically ill patients with COVID-19.
RESULTS: 291 nurses answered the survey. With the MBI threshold values in mind, it can be seen that the clinical condition of burnout can be configured for all three dimensions, both for women and men. As regards the dimension of emotional exhaustion, female nurses are more exposed to the phenomenon than men (P<0.001). However, for the other two dimensions there are no statistically different differences between the two sexes (depersonalization: P=0.809; personal accomplishment: P=0.268).
CONCLUSIONS: Burnout levels are high among nurses. Surely the situation since COVID-19 has accentuated the result, regardless of the years of experience or if the nurses have always worked in opposed intensive care units have been transferred due to the health emergency. Also interesting is the aspect of the trend of burnout levels between female nurses who are they are more affected by emotional exhaustion than male nurses.


KEY WORDS: Burnout, psychological; Gender identity; Disease outbreaks; Nursing

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