Latent burnout profiles in a sample of frontline healthcare professionals after the peak of the Italian COVID-19 pandemic

Giuseppe Maniaci, Caterina La Cascia, Alessandra Giammanco, Cristiana Maria, Laura Ferraro, Giada Tripoli, Alessandra Scaglione, Crocettarachele Sartorio, Fabio Seminerio, Francesca Toia, Daniele La Barbera


Background: In Italy since February 2020, the unexpected massive afflux of COVID-19 patients exposed healthcare professionals to high work-related stress, high time pressure and increased the risk of being infected. This is the first study that aimed to investigate the psychological impact of COVID-pandemic at the end of the peak, by identifying latent burnout profiles in a sample of front-line healthcare professionals that worked in Italy during the peak of the pandemic.

Methods: A total of 589 subjects filled in an online ad-hoc questionnaire and the Italian version of Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey.

Results: A higher presence of burnout profile in healthcare professionals who worked in frontline during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was highlighted. Furthermore, those professionals showed significantly higher perceived stress levels, increase of worries, and sleep problems, they were more likely to underline the importance of team spirit and to consider asking for psychological support. A multiple regression analysis revealed that age, managing COVID-19 patients, perceived stress levels, adequacy of training, and considering to ask for psychological support significantly predicted latent burnout profiles. Moreover, perceived stress levels mediate the relationship between those profiles and managing COVID-19 patients.

Conclusions: These findings highlight how stressful and damaging the pandemic has been, especially for people directly involved in the care of patients tested positive for COVID-19. Furthermore, it provides evidence for the importance of investing in wellness for healthcare professionals, in order to avoid shortage due to burnout and to guarantee optimal standards of care to all patients.


COVID-19; Healthcare professionals; Latent burnout profiles; Burnout; Stress levels.

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