UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Nurses’ Workplace Conditions Impacting Their Mental Health during COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Survey Study Havaei, Farinaz; Ma, Andy; Staempfli, Sabina; MacPhee, Maura


Among health workers, nurses are at the greatest risk of COVID-19 exposure and mortality due to their workplace conditions, including shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), insufficient staffing, and inadequate safety precautions. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of COVID-19 workplace conditions on nurses’ mental health outcomes. A cross-sectional correlational design was used. An electronic survey was emailed to nurses in one Canadian province between June and July of 2020. A total of 3676 responses were included in this study. We found concerning prevalence rates for post-traumatic stress disorder (47%), anxiety (38%), depression (41%), and high emotional exhaustion (60%). Negative ratings of workplace relations, organizational support, organizational preparedness, workplace safety, and access to supplies and resources were associated with higher scores on all of the adverse mental health outcomes included in this study. Better workplace policies and practices are urgently required to prevent and mitigate nurses’ suboptimal work conditions, given their concerning mental health self-reports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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