Changes in distress and turnover intentions among hospital-based nurses working during the first 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark: A prospective questionnaire study

Berit Kjaerside Nielsen; Caroline Trillingsgaard Mejdahl; Morten Deleuran Terkildsen; Mimi Mehlsen

Aim

To describe changes in distress among Danish hospital-based nurses during the early month of the COVID-19 pandemic and to examine predictors of distress and turnover intentions.

Background

Outbreak of infectious diseases such as the COVID-19 pandemic can increase the likelihood that health professionals suffer from poor mental health even after the outbreak.

Methods

A prospective study among 426 Danish hospital-based nurses during the early month of the pandemic. Participants completed self-administered questionnaires regarding mental health and COVID-19 worries, as well as turnover intentions.

Results

Nurses with brief work experience reported higher increase in distress. Feeling unsafe at work, having low trust in management and being anxious for relatives were associated with increased distress. Finally, feeling unsafe at work, being anxious for relatives and having low trust in management were predictors of intention to change job.

Conclusion

This study suggests that the subjective experiences of uncertainty in work during the COVID-19 pandemic have more impact on nurses' distress than COVID-19 related conditions at hospitals. Finally, the study provides empirical support for the association between COVID-19-related worries and turnover intentions.

Implication for nursing management

Knowledge of risk factors for psychological distress as well as predictors of turnover intention is necessary and may provide nurses and health-care systems with the ability to respond better against future pandemics and to retain nurses in the organization and in the profession.

Changes in distress and turnover intentions among hospital-based nurses working during the first 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark: A prospective questionnaire study

Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2022
Udgiver Journal of Nursing Management