Coronavirus anxiety and exhaustion among Polish front-line healthcare workers – the mediation effect of insomnia
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Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Work Psychology)
Online publication date: 2021-04-16
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Łukasz Baka   

Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute, Department of Work Psychology, Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warsaw, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(2):263-73
Objectives: The study aimed to investigate the direct and indirect – mediated through insomnia – effect of coronavirus anxiety on exhaustion, from the perspective of Hobfoll’s theory of conservation of resources (COR). According to the COR theory, critical events (e.g., the coronavirus epidemic) make people fearful of losing their valuable resources. A prolonged state of anxiety may lead to sleeping troubles, which over time results in an increase in exhaustion. Material and Methods: Data were collected from 440 Polish healthcare providers, including nurses and midwives, doctors, paramedics, medical assistance workers, and wardens. Three measures were used: the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale, the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (the sleeping trouble subscale) and the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (the exhaustion subscale). Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling. Results: The obtained results fully support the hypotheses. Both the direct and indirect relationships between coronavirus anxiety and exhaustion were observed. Specifically, high coronavirus anxiety increased insomnia, which in turn contributed to the development of exhaustion. Conclusions: The results are consistent with the COR theory. Prolonged coronavirus anxiety and sleeping problems depleted healthcare providers’ resources and made them feel exhausted. Exhaustion among these workers can have serious consequences not only for themselves but also for the health of their patients. Therefore, research into effective ways to deal with coronavirus anxiety is needed. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(2):263–73
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