On revealing risk groups regarding emotional burn-out syndrome among medical workers during the covid-19 pandemic

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T.A. Platonova1, A.A. Golubkova2,3, S.S. Smirnova4,5, E.V. Dyachenko5, K.V. Shahova1, A.D. Nikitskaya6


1European medical center “UMMC-Health”, 113 Sheinkmana Str., Ekaterinburg, 620144, Russian Federation
2Central research institute of epidemiology, 3А Novogireevskaya Str., Moscow, 111123, Russian Federation
3Russian Medical Academy for Continuous Professional Education, bldg. 1, 2/1 Barrikadnaya Str., Moscow, 125993, Russian Federation
4Ekaterinburg Research Institute of Viral Infections of the “Vector” State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, 23 Letnyaya Str., Ekaterinburg, 620030, Russian Federation
5Ural State Medical University, 3 Repina Str., Ekaterinburg, 620028, Russian Federation
6N.I. Pirogov’s Municipal Clinical Hospital No. 1, 8 Leninsky Ave., 117049, Moscow, Russian Federation


Medical workers have become a most affected population group during the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19). They were the first to start fighting against an unknown infection and at that stage their psychoemotional state determined not only correct evaluations of a situation but also relevant planning regarding control over it.

Our research aim was to reveal risk groups among medical workers regarding developing emotional burnout syndrome and peculiarities of reacting to stress in an emergency epidemic situation.

We applied our own author’s anonymous online poll available at Google platform to examine psychoemotional state of medical workers. The poll had a built-in “Scale of perceived stress-10” that included two sub-scales; one of them measured a subjectively perceived level of the situation strain and the other, the amounts of efforts made by medical workers to overcome it. The poll was performed in November–December 2020; overall, 638 medical workers took part in it. They were of different age and sex and had different positions and working experience.

We established great variability in individual levels of overstrain as per the stress perception sub-scale (Ех < 0; Ех = –0.59) with more “low” than “high” values as per this sub-scale (Аs > 0; Аs = 5.66). Having analyzed variability of values as per the stress overcoming sub-scale, we revealed that they were homogenous (Ех > 0; Ех = 3.98) with prevailing “high” values (Аs < 0; Аs = –6.97).

Medical workers with their working experience being shorter than 5 years turned out to be a risk group with the most destructive reactions to long-term affecting stress factors at work and at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from them, high mental risks were also detected for workers who treated patients with COVID-19 as well as those who had previously had the coronavirus infection.

The research allowed obtaining actual data on psychoemotional state of medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and determining potential risk groups regarding developing emotional burnout syndrome. We substantiated the necessity to constantly provide psychological trainings for medical workers with their focus on peculiarities of their reacting during the first meeting with destabilizing factors and with further adjustment of educational programs provided for potential risk groups.

COVID-19, pandemic, medical workers, psychoemotional state, stress perception and overcoming, adjustment activities, psychological aid, emotional safety
Platonova T.A., Golubkova A.A., Smirnova S.S., Dyachenko E.V., Shahova K.V., Nikitskaya A.D. On revealing risk groups regarding emotional burn-out syndrome among medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Risk Analysis, 2021, no. 4, pp. 161–170. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2021.4.18.eng
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