Work-related stressors and psychological distress predict career change ideation among Lithuanian healthcare workers
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Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania (Department of Public Health, Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine)
National Cancer Institute, Vilnius, Lithuania (Laboratory of Cancer Epidemiology)
Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania (Center for Psychotraumatology, Institute of Psychology)
Online publication date: 2024-06-26
Corresponding author
Povilas Kavaliauskas   

Vilnius University, Department of Public Health, Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, M.K. Čiurlionio 21/27, LT-03101 Vilnius, Lithuania
Objectives: The study aimed to assess the mental health and well-being of Lithuanian healthcare workers by gathering demographic information, identifying common stressors affecting the work environment, evaluating mental health, and exploring directions for psychosocial care. Additionally, the research explored the prevalence of considering a career change among respondents. Material and Methods: The study included 1618 responders who completed an online survey in December 2021 – January 2022. Participants included in this study: physicians, nurses, residents and other healthcare workers. It evaluated their demographics, most common stressors affecting their work environment and mental health on the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale – 21 (DASS-21) scale. Lastly, all responders asked if they had considered changing their occupation to a non-medical job. Univariate analysis was performed using χ2 and Student’s t test, and binary logistic regression evaluated career change predictors. Results: Career change was considered by 1081 (66.8%) responders. The main career change predictors were poor working conditions (OR 1.91, p < 0.001), direct contact with patients (OR 1.84, p < 0.001), lack of career perspectives (OR 1.95, p < 0.001), mobbing (OR 1.67, p = 0.001) and exhaustion (OR 1.51, p = 0.005). After evaluating DASS-21 scores, it was found that 23% of respondents had severe and extremely severe depression symptoms, 27.4% severe and extremely severe anxiety, and 21.4% had severe and extremely severe stress levels. Conclusions: Lithuanian healthcare workers are in high distress and have poor mental health. They are in need psychosocial assistance to avoid burnout and staff loss. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2024;37(3)
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