File(s) under permanent embargo
Prevalence and predictors of burnout syndrome among schoolteachers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: A cross-sectional survey
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-08, 02:24 authored by F Chirico, P Crescenzo, B Nowrouzi-Kia, L Tarchi, K Batra, G Ferrari, M Yildirim, A Romano, G Nucera, S Ripa, M Sharma, Michael LeiterMichael Leiter
Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, teleworking affected the mental well-being of nearly all strata of the population. Teachers, who were employed to teach online courses during lockdown have been psychologically distressed. The primary aim of the current study was to estimate the prevalence and differences in the Burnout Syndrome (BOS) symptomatology in the light of gender, work position, teaching role, and subject taught. As a secondary aim, differences in perceived wellbeing were estimated through the contribution of individual factors. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted from February-May 2021 to recruit a total of 361 teachers from all Italian regions. The Work-Life Balance scale, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, and an ad-hoc questionnaire with items on perceived physical well-being and perceived impact and difficulty in remote work were utilized. Predictors associated with burnout and its subscales were examined using linear regression analyses. Results: Burnout, measured as the co-existence of high emotional exhaustion (EE), high depersonalization (DP), and low personal accomplishment (PA) was revealed in 16.9% of teachers, while high EE, high DP, and low PA were respectively measured in 35.2%, 13.2% and 35.2% of the sample. Variables, such as gender, work position, teaching role, and subject taught were all significant for group differences in perceived well-being or BOS dimensions among teachers. Discussion: Our findings suggest that the implementation of occupational health programs and workplace health promotion programs for improving the mental well-being of teachers. In particular, a higher caution must be needed for implementing critical institutional changes, such as the wide and rapid adoption of telecommuting. Take-home message: Italian schoolteachers engaged in teleworking are exposed to a high risk of stress and burnout during the COVID-19 emergency. Implementing occupational health surveillance programs and workplace health promotions programs are needed to protect and improve teachers’ mental well-being.