Special Issue "Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Factors and Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2021) | Viewed by 28070

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alberto Modenese
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: occupational health and safety; epidemiology of occupational diseases; ionizing and non-ionizing radiation exposure; occupational medicine, workers' health; prevention at workplaces; exposure to occupational risk factors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Fabriziomaria Gobba
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: occupational medicine; occupational diseases; non-ionizing radiations (NIR): occupational exposure evaluation, adverse health effects in workers, and prevention; occupational skin cancer: epidemiology and prevention; visual function in workers: occupational risks to the eye, prevention
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Healthcare workers are exposed to several different occupational risk factors, and they pay an important tribute in terms of occupational diseases and work-related injuries. Currently the COVID-19 pandemic has focused the attention on the problem of the infectious risk, which is certainly among the risks typically expected and specifically recognized for the health personnel, but also other occupational risks should not be overlooked, as e.g. the risks associated to work-organization factors and to the exposure to chemical and physical agents. The health consequences associated with the exposure to all these factors have relevant impacts in terms of induced diseases, DALYs, sickness absence from work and costs for the health systems.

According to these premises, this Special Issue is soliciting manuscripts addressing topics related to the prevention of the occupational risks in the healthcare sector. Original articles and reviews on the prevention of work-related illnesses and injuries of the health personnel, as well as on the evaluation of the risks in the healthcare workplaces, and on the topics of risk perception and of the knowledge and attitudes of the workers towards the preventive procedures and the use of protections will be considered. Papers dealing with the themes of the prevention of infectious risk, chemical hazard, biomechanical overload of the musculoskeletal system, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation exposure and work-related psychosocial factors are particularly welcome.

The aim of the Special Issue is to provide an updated panorama of the current occupational risks for the health personnel, focusing on new and emerging topics, and on prevention to be developed and implemented to promote safety and health of healthcare workers.

Dr. Alberto Modenese
Prof. Dr. Fabriziomaria Gobba
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Health personnel
  • Occupational injury
  • Occupational disease
  • Infectious risk
  • Chemical safety
  • Musculoskeletal disease
  • Occupational stress
  • Burnout
  • Radiation exposure
  • Personal protective equipment

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Published Papers (21 papers)

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Article
Loneliness, Complaining and Professional Burnout of Medical Personnel of Psychiatric Wards during COVID-19 Pandemic—Cross-Sectional Study
Healthcare 2022, 10(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10010145 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Background: Professional burnout in the medical community has been present for a long time, also among mental health professionals. The aim of the study was to examine the links between loneliness, complaining and professional burnout among medical personnel in psychiatric care during a [...] Read more.
Background: Professional burnout in the medical community has been present for a long time, also among mental health professionals. The aim of the study was to examine the links between loneliness, complaining and professional burnout among medical personnel in psychiatric care during a pandemic. Loneliness and complaining of the medical staff are not documented in the literature well enough. Methods: Oldenburg Burnout Questionnaire, the Loneliness Scale, the Complaint Questionnaire and author’s questionnaire. The respondents: 265 medical employees—doctors (19.2%), nurses (69.8%), paramedics (4.9%), medical caregivers (5.7%). Results: Loneliness and complaining are significant predictors of exhaustion. The model explains 18% of exhaustion variance. Loneliness, complaining and job seniority are also predictors of disengagement; the model allows to predict 10% of the variance of disengagement. Women are more prone to complain. Complaining significantly correlates with direct support from management. A high rate of loneliness correlates, in a statistically significant way, with worse work organization, less management support, worse atmosphere in the team and with more irresponsible attitudes of colleagues. Conclusions: Loneliness and complaining can be used to predict occupational burnout. Women and people without management support complain more often. Loneliness is connected with bad work organization and bad cooperation in a team. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Factors Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Risk among Healthcare Workers of an Italian University Hospital
Healthcare 2021, 9(11), 1495; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111495 - 02 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
We report the results of a study on the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in about 6000 workers of the University Hospital of Modena, Northern Italy, in the period March 2020–January 2021, and the relations with some individual and occupational factors. Overall, in [...] Read more.
We report the results of a study on the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections in about 6000 workers of the University Hospital of Modena, Northern Italy, in the period March 2020–January 2021, and the relations with some individual and occupational factors. Overall, in healthcare workers (HCW) the cumulative incidence of COVID-19 during the period was 13.8%. Results confirm the role of overweight and obesity as significant risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma, also proved to be significantly associated with the infection rate. Considering occupational factors, the COVID-19 risk was about threefold (OR: 2.7; 95% CI 1.7–4.5) greater in nurses and nurse aides than in non-HCW, and about double (OR: 1.9; 95% CI 1.2–3.2) in physicians. Interestingly, an association was also observed between infection risk and nightshifts at work (OR: 1.8; 95% CI 1.4–2.3), significantly related to the total number of shifts in the whole eleven-month period. Even if the vaccination campaign has now greatly modified the scenario of SARS-CoV-2 infections among HCW, the results of this study can be useful for further development of health and policy strategies to mitigate the occupational risk related to the new variants of coronavirus, and therefore the evolution of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
Work-Related Musculoskeletal Complaints in Surgeons
Healthcare 2021, 9(11), 1482; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111482 - 31 Oct 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal complaints and potential risk factors among Romanian surgeons. Ninety-five surgeons of different specialties (62.11% males) completed a questionnaire about work-related musculoskeletal complaints (WMSCs). Ninety-one surgeons (95.78%) experienced WMSCs at [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal complaints and potential risk factors among Romanian surgeons. Ninety-five surgeons of different specialties (62.11% males) completed a questionnaire about work-related musculoskeletal complaints (WMSCs). Ninety-one surgeons (95.78%) experienced WMSCs at least in one body part in the last year. Most surgeons reported pain in four body parts (33.68%). The most common WMSCs were reported on the lower back (74.73%), followed by complaints in the neck region (55.79%), shoulder and upper back (46.32%), knee (31.58%), wrist–hand (16.84%), elbow (14.74%), hip (11.58%) and ankle–foot (4.21%). Surgeons rated their pain more severe on upper back, lower back and knees. A higher percentage of male surgeons reported upper back pain (χ2(1) = 5.818, p = 0.015). Significant age differences were found between the reported pain sites (F8,278 = 2.666, p = 0.008); the surgeons reporting wrist–hand pain were younger than those reporting neck, shoulders, elbows, dorsal and lumbar pain. Surgeons with significantly less experience in years reported significantly more WMSCs in wrist–hand, hip and ankle–foot regions compared with those more experienced (p < 0.05). Surgeons are at high risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal complaints, which affects both their professional and personal life. Further studies are needed to identify all risk factors and ergonomic strategies to reduce the prevalence and the negative impact of WMSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Work Stress, Mental Health and Validation of Professional Stress Scale (PSS) in an Italian-Speaking Teachers Sample
Healthcare 2021, 9(11), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9111434 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 650
Abstract
This study aimed validate the Italian version of the Professional Stress Scale (PSS). A questionnaire was translated into Italian and administered to two sample groups. The first group (n = 200) was the control group and the second (n = 1137) [...] Read more.
This study aimed validate the Italian version of the Professional Stress Scale (PSS). A questionnaire was translated into Italian and administered to two sample groups. The first group (n = 200) was the control group and the second (n = 1137) the experimental group. The participants in the study were students enrolled in a special needs training teacher course or a specialization course that aims to train support teachers. The study conducted two analyses; factor and reliability analyses. The factor analysis utilized the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test which had a result of 0.925 for the scale; this was above the acceptable value of 0.7. The research studied 33 items and the BTS was significant for the 33 items scale (χ2 (528) = 4353.508, p < 0.001). Moreover, five eigenvalues greater than 1 were identified in the data, whereas the total variance explained was 63.7%. The reliability test utilized the Cronbach’s Alpha score (0.936) of the scale and the value is calculated based on the response of 1106 individuals. The value is well above the value of 0.80, which indicates a high internal consistency level of the different items of the scale. This study showed that the Italian version of the PSS is a reliable and valid measure that can be used for research and clinical purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
Prevalence and Clustering of Cardiovascular Risk Factors among Medical Staff in Northeast China
Healthcare 2021, 9(9), 1227; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9091227 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Background: The clustering of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors has become a major public health challenge worldwide. Although many studies have investigated CVD risk factor clusters, little is known about their prevalence and clustering among medical staff in Northeast China. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Background: The clustering of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors has become a major public health challenge worldwide. Although many studies have investigated CVD risk factor clusters, little is known about their prevalence and clustering among medical staff in Northeast China. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and clustering of CVD risk factors and to investigate the association between relevant characteristics and the clustering of CVD risk factors among medical staff in Northeast China. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 3720 medical staff from 93 public hospitals in Jilin Province was used in this study. Categorical variables were presented as percentages and were compared using the χ2 test. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between relevant characteristics and the clustering of CVD risk factors. Results: The prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, being overweight, smoking, and drinking were 10.54%, 3.79%, 17.15%, 39.84%, 9.87%, and 21.75%, respectively. Working in a general hospital, male, and age group 18–44 years were more likely to have 1, 2, and ≥3 CVD risk factors, compared with their counterparts. In particular, compared with being a doctor, being a nurse or medical technician was less likely to have 1, 2, and ≥3 CVD risk factors only in general hospitals. Conclusions: The findings suggest that medical staff of general hospitals, males, and older individuals have a high chance associated with CVD risk factor clustering and that more effective interventions should be undertaken to reduce the prevalence and clustering of CVD risk factors, especially among older male doctors who work in general hospitals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Effectiveness of Psychological Support to Healthcare Workers by the Occupational Health Service: A Pilot Experience
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060732 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Work-related stress is a significant risk for healthcare workers (HCWs). This study aims at evaluating the effectiveness of an individual psychological support programme for hospital workers. In all, 35 workers participated (n). A control group of 245 workers (7n) [...] Read more.
Work-related stress is a significant risk for healthcare workers (HCWs). This study aims at evaluating the effectiveness of an individual psychological support programme for hospital workers. In all, 35 workers participated (n). A control group of 245 workers (7n) was set. Occupational distress was measured by the General Health Questionnaire, (GHQ-12), the quality of life by the Short Form-36 health survey, (SF-36), and sickness absence was recorded. Costs and benefits of the service were evaluated and the return on investment (ROI) was calculated. The level of distress was significantly reduced in the treated group at the end of the follow-up (p < 0.001). Quality of life had significantly improved (p < 0.003). A 60% reduction of sickness absence days (SADs) following the intervention was recorded. After the treatment, absenteeism in cases was significantly lower than in controls (p < 0.02). The individual improvement of mental health and quality of life was significantly correlated with the number of meetings with the psychologist (p < 0.01 and p < 0.03, respectively). The recovery of direct costs due to reduced sick leave absence was significantly higher than the costs of the programme; ROI was 2.73. The results must be examined with caution, given the very limited number of workers treated; this first study, however, encouraged us to continue the experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
A Study of Leisure Constraints and Job Satisfaction of Middle-Aged and Elderly Health Care Workers in COVID-19 Environment
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060713 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to examine the leisure constraints and job satisfaction of middle-aged and elderly health care workers. The study employed a mixed research method, utilizing SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 23.0 statistical software to analyze 260 questionnaires using basic statistical [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to examine the leisure constraints and job satisfaction of middle-aged and elderly health care workers. The study employed a mixed research method, utilizing SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 23.0 statistical software to analyze 260 questionnaires using basic statistical tests, t-tests, ANOVA tests, and structural equation models, and then interviewed medical and public health workers and experts in the field, and the results were analyzed using multivariate verification analysis. The results showed that there was a significant low correlation between leisure constraints and job satisfaction among middle-aged and elderly health care workers (p < 0.01); interpersonal constraints and external job satisfaction factors were the main influencing factors; improving promotion opportunities and receiving appreciation increased job satisfaction; poor working environment and facilities, as well as the lack of achievement, were the main factors that reduced satisfaction; health factors, a lack of family support, no exercise partner, and a lack of extra budget are the key to leisure constraints. If the organization can provide nearby sports facilities for middle and high-age medical workers, improve welfare, and increase willingness to participate in leisure activities, physical and mental health can be improved. Finally, interpersonal interaction in leisure obstacles is the main reason for improving job satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
Antibacterial Treatment of Selected High-Touch Objects and Surfaces within Provision of Nursing Care in Terms of Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060675 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 842
Abstract
Prevention of healthcare-associated infections is an important part of providing nursing care. High-touch objects and surfaces that can be contaminated with various bacteria are matters of concern. The possibility of reducing contamination is the use of antibacterial and hydrophobic nanolayers. The aim of [...] Read more.
Prevention of healthcare-associated infections is an important part of providing nursing care. High-touch objects and surfaces that can be contaminated with various bacteria are matters of concern. The possibility of reducing contamination is the use of antibacterial and hydrophobic nanolayers. The aim of this study was to determine, by means of an experimental method, the microbial efficacy of applied antibacterial and hydrophobic nanolayers on high-touch objects and surfaces used in nursing practice in a regional hospital in the Czech Republic. The results show that the antibacterial efficacy of the applied nanolayer was not demonstrated. Furthermore, the results show that selected objects and surfaces can always be contaminated by bacterial agents in about 1/3 of cases. It is mainly contamination with nonpathogenic bacteria; however, the presence of pathogenic bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, has also been detected. The results of this study pinpoint the importance of following the basic rules for the use of decontaminated objects and surfaces used to provide healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Assessment of Workplace Safety Climate among Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Low and Middle Income Countries: A Case Study of Nigeria
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060661 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1278
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented several organizations with the opportunity to review their operational strategies, as well as the existing safety climate within their establishments. The healthcare sector is not an exception, especially those in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), where most [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented several organizations with the opportunity to review their operational strategies, as well as the existing safety climate within their establishments. The healthcare sector is not an exception, especially those in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), where most safety systems are not robust when compared with developed countries. The study aim is to assess the occupational safety climate among healthcare workers (HCWs) in LMICs using Nigeria as a case study. A cross-sectional study was adopted to measure safety climate perception among professionals working in healthcare establishment during the COVID-19 pandemic using a validated Nordic Safety Climate Questionnaire (NOSACQ-50). At the end of the survey period, 83% (433) of the responses were adjudged to have met the threshold criteria and were used to inform the study outcome. Worker safety commitment within the healthcare facilities (M = 3.01, SD = 0.42) was statistically significantly higher than management safety priority, commitment, and competence (M = 2.91, SD = 0.46), t(130.52), p < 0.001. A significant effect of the management role was found in regards to management safety priority, commitment, and competence (F(1, 406) = 3.99, p = 0.046, η2 = 0.010). On the contrary, the managerial position does not have a significant effect on worker safety commitment (F(1, 417) = 0.59, p = 0.440, η2 = 0.001). The outcome from the study showed that, where there is active promotion of a positive safety climate in healthcare sectors in LMICs, employees are more likely to engage in positive safety behaviour. To help address the identified gaps, there is the need for more effort to be made towards promoting an effective and positive safety climate across the establishment, including management and healthcare worker commitments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Implications of Lifestyle and Occupational Factors on the Risk of Breast Cancer in Shiftwork Nurses
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060649 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Shift work that involves circadian disruption has been highlighted as a likely carcinogenic factor for breast cancer in humans. Also, unhealthy lifestyle habits observed in night work nurses could be causally related to an increase in the incidence of estrogen-positive breast tumours in [...] Read more.
Shift work that involves circadian disruption has been highlighted as a likely carcinogenic factor for breast cancer in humans. Also, unhealthy lifestyle habits observed in night work nurses could be causally related to an increase in the incidence of estrogen-positive breast tumours in this population. Assessing baseline risk of breast cancer in nurses is essential. The objective of this study was to analyze the risk of breast cancer that nurses had in relation to their lifestyle and labour factors related to shift work. A cross-sectional descriptive study through a questionnaire about sociodemographic variables, self-perception of health, and working life was designed. The sample consisted of 966 nurses. The relationship between variables was tested. A binary logistic regression and a classification and regression tree were performed. The most significant labour variables in relation to the risk of breast cancer were the number of years worked (more than 16 years; p < 0.01; OR = 8.733, 95% CI = 2.811, 27.134) and the total years performing more than 3 nights per month (10 or more years; p < 0.05; OR = 2.294, 95% CI = 1.008, 5.220). Also, the nights worked throughout life (over 500; OR = 4.190, 95% CI = 2.118, 8.287) were significant in the analysis. Nurses who had or ever had breast cancer valued their self-perceived health more negatively (p < 0.001) and referred a lower quality of sleep (p < 0.001) than the non-cases nurses. The occupational factors derived from night work could have several impacts on nurses’ health and their family-work balance. Promoting healthy lifestyles, informing about shift work risks, and adjusting shift work schedules are critical methods to decrease the possible effects of circadian disruption in nurses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
The Effects of Emergency Room Violence toward Nurse′s Intention to Leave—Resilience as a Mediator
Healthcare 2021, 9(5), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9050507 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
(1) Background: Healthcare workplace violence has been a focused issue in the whole world. The rate of the occurrence is pretty high in every country. The emergency room is a high risk and high frequency place for violence to occur. Under the medical [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Healthcare workplace violence has been a focused issue in the whole world. The rate of the occurrence is pretty high in every country. The emergency room is a high risk and high frequency place for violence to occur. Under the medical service demands from people, it is quite easy to bring about conflicts. This leads to serious physical and mental harm to nurses. When suffering from physical and mental injuries, resilience is a protective factor away from negative influence. It is rare to explore and study how the nurses’ resilience ability, workplace violence and turnover intention are related. Thus, the aim of this study is to understand resilience as a mediator effect in emergency nurses toward the workplace violence. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional survey study was used to collect information from emergency room nurses of a medical center in northern Taiwan. There were 132 samples in total. Three research instruments were included as follows: Hospital Workplace Violence Prevention Questionnaire, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and Turnover Intention Scale. Statistical analysis using t-test, ANOVA, Correlation, as well as Sobel test were used in this study. (3) Results: The results revealed that the average age was 29.5 ± 5.6. Almost 58% of nurses experienced workplace violence. Twelve percent of nurse had experienced physical violence and 53.8% had experienced mental violence. There was significant relationship between shift personnel and religious believers. To the people who suffered physical violence, there was a significant relationship between emergency room working years and the total working years. There was significant difference between those who had suffered mental violence and religious believers. Female nurses suffered mental violence to a much higher extent than male nurses. There was a significant relationship between nurses’ working years, the total working years, resilience, and turnover intention. Resilience was not the mediator for workplace violence toward turnover intention in this study. (4) Conclusions: The outcome of this study suggested that on an individual level, nurses can enhance self-protection and communication skills to decrease workplace violence. For emergency environment settings, designing a good working environment, visitors’ restriction, avoiding working alone, and enhancing supervising alarm system are recommended. As for hospital administrators, fitness for work and to set up a project team is necessary. These can be references in planning prevention on workplace violence and promoting quality of workplace and patient safety in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Predictors of Burnout in Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Healthcare 2021, 9(3), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9030304 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2920
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify the predictors of burnout in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected from March to June in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, from employees of two Romanian hospitals. Five hundred and twenty-three healthcare [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify the predictors of burnout in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected from March to June in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, from employees of two Romanian hospitals. Five hundred and twenty-three healthcare workers completed a series of questionnaires that measured burnout, job demands, job resources, and personal resources. Among the respondents, 14.5% had a clinical level of exhaustion (the central component of burnout). Three job demands (work–family conflict, lack of preparedness/scope of practice, emotional demands), three job resources (training, professional development, and continuing education; supervision, recognition, and feedback; autonomy and control), and one personal resource (self-efficacy) were significant predictors of burnout, explaining together 37% of the variance in healthcare workers’ burnout. Based on our results, psychological interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic for healthcare employees should focus primarily on these demands and resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Factors Affecting Physical and Mental Fatigue among Female Hospital Nurses: The Korea Nurses’ Health Study
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020201 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Nurses often experience work-related physical and mental fatigue. This study sought to identify the levels of physical and mental fatigue present among Korean female nurses and discern factors influencing their onset. This cross-sectional study analyzed data from the Korea Nurses’ Health Study (KNHS). [...] Read more.
Nurses often experience work-related physical and mental fatigue. This study sought to identify the levels of physical and mental fatigue present among Korean female nurses and discern factors influencing their onset. This cross-sectional study analyzed data from the Korea Nurses’ Health Study (KNHS). A total of 14,839 hospital nurses were assessed by hierarchical regression analysis. The mean scores of physical and mental fatigue were 12.57 and 5.79 points, respectively. After adjusting for confounding variables, the work department had a significant influence on both physical and mental fatigue, that is, nurses working in special care units experienced greater degrees of both physical and mental fatigue than those working in general units. Nurse fatigue is an important consideration to monitor to ensure nurses’ continued wellbeing as well as good patient safety levels. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a strategy to mitigate nursing fatigue while considering the characteristics of specific departments. In nursing practice, the introduction of a counseling program and guarantee of rest time that can alleviate the mental and physical fatigue of nurses working in special care units should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Palliative Care Professionals’ Inner Lives: Cross-Cultural Application of the Awareness Model of Self-Care
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010081 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
Compassionate professional qualities traditionally have not received the most attention in either critical or end of life care. Constant exposure to death, time pressure and workload, inadequate coping with personal emotions, grieving, and depression urge the development of an inner curricula of competences [...] Read more.
Compassionate professional qualities traditionally have not received the most attention in either critical or end of life care. Constant exposure to death, time pressure and workload, inadequate coping with personal emotions, grieving, and depression urge the development of an inner curricula of competences to promote professional quality of life and compassionate care. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the universality of these problems and the need to equip ourselves with rigorously validated measurement and monitoring approaches that allow for unbiased comparisons. The main objective of this study was to offer evidence on the generalizability of the awareness model of self-care across three care systems under particular idiosyncrasy. Regarding the sample, 817 palliative care professionals from Spain, Argentina, and Brazil participated in this cross-sectional study using a multigroup structural equation modeling strategy. The measures showed good reliability in the three countries. When testing the multigroup model against the configural and constrained models, the assumptions were fulfilled, and only two relationships of the model revealed differences among contexts. The hypotheses posited by the awareness model of self-care were supported and a similar predictive power on the professional quality of life dimensions was found. Self-care, awareness, and coping with death were competences that remained outstanding no matter the country, resulting in optimism about the possibility of acting with more integrative approaches and campaigns by international policy-makers with the consensus of world healthcare organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
The Managerial Implications of the Key Performance Indicators in Healthcare Sector: A Cluster Analysis
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010019 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3799
Abstract
The aim of the paper is to identify a set of the key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to provide managers and employees from the healthcare system with recommendations for evaluating, monitoring, and controlling the critical factors that influence the performance of the [...] Read more.
The aim of the paper is to identify a set of the key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to provide managers and employees from the healthcare system with recommendations for evaluating, monitoring, and controlling the critical factors that influence the performance of the healthcare sector in Algeria during a pandemic crisis. During February–August 2020, a cross-sectional survey design was administrated to medical employees from hospitals situated in the northeastern part of Algeria. Our findings proved that the four groups of KPIs correlate to each other, and during this period, the triple relationship among human factor-technology-medication plays a decisive role in reducing the pressure on the medical system and overcoming the crisis. In order to increase the efficiency of the decision-making process, a hierarchy of KPIs is recommended in terms of their impact on the performance of medical staff. The practical importance of our research consists in ranking KPIs on four clusters that support managers to focus on both the human factor (clinical errors, infection rate, and medication errors) and the technical elements of maximum importance (laboratory test time, location of the facility, and sufficient air). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
Predictors of Health-Related Quality of Life among Healthcare Workers in the Context of Health System Strengthening in Kenya
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010018 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Kenya is among the countries with an acute shortage of skilled health workers. There have been recurrent health worker strikes in Kenya due to several issues, some of which directly or indirectly affect their health. The purpose of this study was to investigate [...] Read more.
Kenya is among the countries with an acute shortage of skilled health workers. There have been recurrent health worker strikes in Kenya due to several issues, some of which directly or indirectly affect their health. The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictors of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among healthcare workers in public and mission hospitals in Meru County, Kenya. A cross-sectional study design was undertaken among 553 healthcare workers across 24 hospitals in Meru County. The participants completed the EuroQol-five dimension-five level (EQ-5D-5L) instrument, which measures health status across five dimensions and the overall self-assessment of health status on a visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS). Approximately 66.55% of the healthcare workers reported no problems (i.e., 11,111) across the five dimensions. The six predictors of HRQOL among the healthcare workers were hospital ownership (p < 0.05), age (p < 0.05), income (p < 0.01), availability of water for handwashing (p < 0.05), presence of risk in using a toilet facility (p < 0.05), and overall safety of hospital work environment (p < 0.05). Personal, job-related attributes and work environment characteristics are significant predictors of healthcare workers HRQOL. Thus, these factors ought to be considered by health policymakers and managers when developing and implementing policies and programs aimed at promoting HRQOL among healthcare workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
Published Research on Burnout in Nursing in Spain in the Last Decade: Bibliometric Analysis
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040478 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1007
Abstract
Scientific production in the last decades has evidenced an increase in burnout syndrome in healthcare professionals. The objective of this bibliometric study was to analyze scientific productions on burnout in nurses in 2009–2019. A search was made on the Web of Science database [...] Read more.
Scientific production in the last decades has evidenced an increase in burnout syndrome in healthcare professionals. The objective of this bibliometric study was to analyze scientific productions on burnout in nurses in 2009–2019. A search was made on the Web of Science database on burnout in nursing. The variables evaluated were number of publications per year, productivity based on the journal and relationships between authors. Data were analyzed using Bibexcel software, and Pajek was used to visualize the co-authorship network map. A total of 1528 publications related to burnout in nurses were identified. The years with the most productivity were 2016 to 2017, when the publication rate increased noticeably over previous years. The Spanish journal with the most production on the subject was Atención Primaria. The co-authorship network analyzed illustrated collaboration patterns among the researchers. Scientific publications on the subject have increased in recent years due to problems in the healthcare system, which is in need of prevention and intervention programs for healthcare professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Article
Work Potential and Work Performance during the First Try-Out of the Person-Centred Return to Work Rehabilitation Programme ReWork-Stroke: A Case Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040454 - 02 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 891
Abstract
Background: This case study explores changes in work potential and work performance for ten people who worked before their stroke while participating in the ReWork-Stroke programme. It describes measures performed by the occupational therapists to enhance work potential and work performance and the [...] Read more.
Background: This case study explores changes in work potential and work performance for ten people who worked before their stroke while participating in the ReWork-Stroke programme. It describes measures performed by the occupational therapists to enhance work potential and work performance and the participants’ level of work re-entry nine months after the start of their work trial. Methods: Ten people who had experienced a mild or moderate stroke participated. Changes were assessed using the Worker Role Interview and the Assessment of Work Performance. Logbooks relating to work potential and work performance were analysed using content analysis. Results: The participants’ work potential was in general supportive to returning to work at baseline and remained so at the three-month follow-up. Most changes occurred in the environmental factors regarding the participants’ belief that adaptations at the workplace would make re-entry possible. Changes concerning work performance were predominately in a positive direction. Seven of the participants returned to paid work. Conclusion: The ReWork-Stroke programme seems promising for promoting changes in work potential, work performance, and return to paid work. However, further studies are needed to evaluate changes in work potential and work performance and the programme’s effectiveness for increasing work re-entry for people who have had stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Emergency Healthcare Providers’ Perceptions of Preparedness and Willingness to Work during Disasters and Public Health Emergencies
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040442 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
This study evaluates the perceptions of preparedness and willingness to work during disasters and public health emergencies among 213 healthcare workers at hospitals in the southern region of Saudi Arabia by using a quantitative survey (Fight or Flight). The results showed that participants’ [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the perceptions of preparedness and willingness to work during disasters and public health emergencies among 213 healthcare workers at hospitals in the southern region of Saudi Arabia by using a quantitative survey (Fight or Flight). The results showed that participants’ willingness to work unconditionally during disasters and emergencies varied based on the type of condition: natural disasters (61.97%), seasonal influenza pandemic (52.58%), smallpox pandemic (47.89%), SARS/COVID-19 pandemic (43.56%), special flu pandemic (36.15%), mass shooting (37.56%), chemical incident and bombing threats (31.92%), biological events (28.17%), Ebola outbreaks (27.7%), and nuclear incident (24.88%). A lack of confidence and the absence of safety assurance for healthcare workers and their family members were the most important reasons cited. The co-variation between age and education versus risk and danger by Spearman’s rho confirmed a small negative correlation between education and danger at a 95% level of significance, meaning that educated healthcare workers have less fear to work under dangerous events. Although the causes of unsuccessful management of disasters and emergencies may vary, individuals’ characteristics, such as lack of confidence and emotional distractions because of uncertainty about the safety issues, may also play a significant role. Besides educational initiatives, other measures, which guarantee the safety of healthcare providers and their family members, should be established and implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Article
Reasons for Turnover Intention among Direct Care Workers in Korea’s Long-Term Care Insurance
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040395 - 12 Oct 2020
Viewed by 995
Abstract
This study explored reasons for turnover intention among direct care workers under the Korean long-term care insurance (LTCI) system. The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 care workers. The study revealed four main themes underlying the intention of care workers to change or [...] Read more.
This study explored reasons for turnover intention among direct care workers under the Korean long-term care insurance (LTCI) system. The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 care workers. The study revealed four main themes underlying the intention of care workers to change or leave their jobs. Care workers struggled with demanding working conditions, and their salaries were low. Moreover, the relationships with their directors and supervisors was not good, since some care workers felt that their directors despised them or gave them inappropriate instructions, and their supervisors did not complete administrative work fairly. Lastly, some workers’ health conditions prevented them from carrying out their care work. The results have implications for working practices of care workers, prices of LTCI services, training of directors and supervisors, and coverage of occupational health and safety insurance for care workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)

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Protocol
A Protocol for a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Mind–Body Modalities to Manage the Mental Health of Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Era
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101320 - 03 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1138
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become an unprecedented threat to humanity worldwide, including healthcare workers (HCWs). Mind–body modalities have been used to improve the mental health, well-being, quality of life, and physical health of clinical and general populations, and may also [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become an unprecedented threat to humanity worldwide, including healthcare workers (HCWs). Mind–body modalities have been used to improve the mental health, well-being, quality of life, and physical health of clinical and general populations, and may also be used to improve the mental health of HCWs during COVID-19. The objective of this review is to analyze the effectiveness of mind–body modalities for the mental health of HCWs in the COVID-19 era. Six electronic bibliographic databases were comprehensively searched to find intervention studies using mind–body modalities, including meditation, mindfulness-based intervention, autogenic training, yoga, tai chi, qigong, breathing exercise, music therapy, guided imagery, biofeedback, prayer, and faith-based techniques for HCWs. All intervention studies conducted from December 2019 to August 2021 will be included. Quality assessment will be performed according to study type, and Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias tool will be used for randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs). If sufficient homogeneous data from RCTs exist, a meta-analysis will be performed. Dichotomous data and continuous data are presented as risk ratios and mean differences with their 95% confidence intervals, respectively. The results of this systematic review will be disseminated through the publication of a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal or by presentation at a conference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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