Building better self-efficacy, resilience may improve nurses' mental health, study suggests

Nurses may have less mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic if they have better self-efficacy and resilience, suggests a new study

Published in EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet, the study examined burnout, anxiety, depression and fear and their associated factors among more than 2,000 front-line nurses who were caring for COVID-19 patients at two hospitals in Wuhan, China. 

The study, conducted in February, found about half of the nurses reported moderate and high work burnout across three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and personal accomplishment. 

A total of 288 nurses reported moderate and high levels of anxiety, while 217 nurses reported moderate and high levels of depression. Nearly 1,840 nurses reported moderate and high levels of fear.

Authors said most nurses had one or more skin lesions caused by personal protective equipment, and nearly all nurses (96.8 percent) expressed their willingness to work on the front lines of the pandemic. Overall, they found the worse nurses' skin lesions were, the higher their reported burnout, anxiety and depression levels. 

Authors said mental health outcomes were statistically negatively correlated with self-efficacy and resilience, meaning nurses may have less mental health problems if they have better self-efficacy and resilience.

"The front-line nurses experienced a variety of mental health challenges, especially burnout and fear, which warrant attention and support from policymakers," the authors concluded. "Future interventions at the national and organizational levels are needed to improve mental health during this pandemic by preventing and managing skin lesions, building self-efficacy and resilience, providing sufficient social support and ensuring front-line work willingness."


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