Burnout and Psychological Distress Among Primary Health Care Nurses and Midwives in North West Bank

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نعيرات, إيهاب
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An-Najah National University
Background: Nurses and midwives in the health care system play an important role that cannot be overemphasized. Nurses work at varying levels of the healthcare system and the nursing profession demands a substantial amount of energy, time and dedication spent in both performing nursing medical tasks, as well as managing patients. This dedication and investment of time can lead to psychological distress and burnout among those who practice the nursing profession. Purpose: This study assesses the prevalence of burnout and psychological distress among primary health care nurses and midwives working in the Northern West Bank (WB). Methods: The method for data collection was a quantitative survey through a self-administered questionnaire. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) were used to assess burnout and psychological distress among 295 nurses and midwives working in the Palestinian governmental primary health care centers in the Northern West Bank. Data analysis was conducted using a variety of inferential and descriptive using the SPSS system version 20. Results: The prevalence of burnout was 10.6% among 207 nurses and midwives who participated in this study. High levels of burnout were identified in 36.7% of the respondents in the area of emotional exhaustion, 14% in the area of depersonalization and 17.9% in the area of reduced personal accomplishment. Meanwhile, 22.6% scored positive in the GHQ-28 indicating presence of psychological distress. Conclusion: Findings from this study contribute to the understanding of the relationship between nurses' burnout syndrome and the level of psychological distress. Results also point out that burnout and psychological distress is not uncommon among nurses and midwives working in primary health care in the Northern West Bank. Nurses' burnout and psychological distress levels seem to have special characteristics relating to the unique composition of health care in the Palestine. Recommendation: Encourage the Palestinian Ministry of Health to communicate with the relevant health professionals to establish regular stress management programs for nurses and other health personnel in the West Bank.