Burnout, psychopathology and purpose in life in healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Marcelo O'Higgins, Luz Angela Rojas, Iván Echeverria, Lorena Roselló-Jiménez, Ana Benito, Gonzalo Haro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in the workload of healthcare workers that, together with the risks associated with exposure to this new virus, has affected their mental health. Objectives: The objective of the current study was to determine the prevalence of psychopathology and burnout syndrome in healthcare workers and the predictive role of purpose in life and moral courage in this relationship. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 115 Spanish healthcare workers. Results: Participants with burnout had higher anxiety (p = 0.001), depression (p < 0.001), post-traumatic stress (p = 0.01) and alcohol consumption (p = 0.03) levels. The different components of burnout (emotional fatigue and despersonalization) were associated with the occurrence of anxiety (OR = 0.31) and depression (OR = 0.26), respectively. A strong purpose in life decreased emotional fatigue (OR = −0.39) depersonalization (OR = −0.23) scores, increased personal accomplishment (OR = 0.52), subsequently reducing burnout levels (OR = −0.45). Conclusions: Purpose in life was most strongly related to decreased levels of burnout. Furthermore, an association between anxiety, depression and the components of burnout was found.

Original languageEnglish
Article number926328
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • acute stress
  • anxiety
  • burnout
  • depression
  • healthcare workers
  • psychopathology
  • purpose in life


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