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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(10): 1710-1715

Prevalence of burnout among frontline versus non-frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Makkah and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Adel A Alhazmi, Saad M Alsaedi, Rakan M Alsarwani, Abdulrahman M Almalki, Mohannad A Fatani, Saad M Alhazmi, Mansour I Aljabri, Emad A Alzahrani, Abdullah A Khafagy.


Background: Burnout is a known professional phenomenon caused by chronic workspace stress that has not been successfully managed. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of burnout syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic in frontline health care workers (HCWs) versus other HCWs among Makkah and Jeddah hospitals in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among HCWs in Makkah and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. An online questionnaire was sent through the different social media platforms to collect data and direct collection from HCWs in the hospitals gathered by data collectors. The questionnaire composed of two sections. The first one was concerned with sociodemographic data. The second part of the questionnaire included the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI).
Result: Out of 460 HCWs, 345 individuals were evaluated after exclusion. In this study, burnout was prevalent among 81.3% of frontline HCWs and 77.4% of non-frontline HCWs (p = 0.475). The total prevalence of burnout among HCWs was 80% (N = 276). We found that frontline HCWs had a higher mean total score of OLBI than non-frontline HCWs (40.42 ± 7.14 vs. 38.83 ± 6.80, respectively) (p = 0.0494).
Conclusion: The prevalence of burnout was statistically indifferent between frontline and non-frontline HCWs. However, frontlines had a higher mean of burnout score compared to non-frontlines. The necessity of successful strategies for preventing burnout should be considered to create a better work environment. Such strategies include reducing working hours, promoting mental, emotional, and physical self-care, and applying mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises.

Key words: Burnout, COVID-19, Prevalence, Health, Workers, Saudi Arabia.

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