OCCUPATIONAL BURNOUT SYNDROME AMONG COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Keywords:burnout, pharmacists, community pharmacy, COVID-19
Introduction: The community pharmacy is the most accessible medical facility in the current healthcare system. Therefore, the expectations from pharmacists as the most accessible healthcare professionals are constantly rising. However, various studies indicate that pharmacists are subject to very high levels of occupational stress and professional burnout is common.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed new challenges to the work organisation in pharmacies and demand for an adequate reorganisation. In addition, it forced pharmacists to quickly adapt to the new circumstances and requirements and further increased occupational stress.
Objective: To establish the level of occupational burnout among community pharmacists during COVID-19.
Materials and Methods: An anonymous questionnaire survey was conducted among 127 pharmacists working in community pharmacies in Varna, Bulgaria. The study period was from March 2021 to October 2021. The questionnaire consisted of two parts; the first one was based on the specialised Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-HSS) tool, assessing professional burnout in terms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and personal accomplishment; the second one collected data about the demographic characteristics of the respondents, including their job position, pharmacy type (an independent pharmacy or a pharmacy chain) and information on specific problems during COVID-19.
Results: The identified mean values in the group of respondents were as follows: emotional exhaustion M=23.39 (SD 9,298), depersonalisation M=12.37 (SD 6,426), professional achievements M=31.25 (SD 7,531). The sample mean values that stood out were in the depersonalisation scale М=12.37, which is considered a high value. A statistically significant difference was found in the different age groups on the depersonalisation scale (F=3,957, p=0,022). There was a statistically significant difference between the arithmetic mean values for the age groups 25-40 years (M=13.75) and over 55 years (M=9.86).
Conclusion: Based on the statistical differences for depersonalisation among pharmacists in different age groups, it can be concluded that young pharmacists do not express empathy while providing pharmaceutical care services.
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