COVID-related work changes, burnout, and turnover intentions in mental health providers: A moderated mediation analysis

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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2021 May 17. doi: 10.1037/prj0000480. Online ahead of print.


Objective: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has drastically impacted the provision of mental health services. Changes required of providers were substantial and could lead to increased burnout and, subsequently, increased turnover intentions. This study examined burnout experienced by mental health services providers in the context of COVID-19 and through the lens of the job demands-resources (JD-R) model. We examined the effects of work changes on burnout and subsequent turnover intentions, and how job and personal resources may have buffered the extent to which work changes due to COVID-19 impacted burnout. Methods: Service providers (n = 93) from six community mental health centers (CMHCs) in one Midwestern state in the United States completed surveys as part of service contracts to implement evidence-based practices. Path analysis tested the unconditional indirect relations between work changes and turnover intentions through burnout. Moderated mediation determined whether the indirect effect of work changes on turnover intentions via burnout varied in strength by job and personal resources. Results: Work changes had a significant indirect effect on turnover intentions through burnout ( β ^ = .140, 95% CI = .072, .217). This indirect effect varied as a function of two job resources, organizational trust and perceived organizational support. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Burnout was relatively low only when work changes were low and job resources levels high. When work changes were high, burnout was similarly high across levels of job resources. To minimize burnout, organizations should limit task, setting, and team-related work changes to the extent possible. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:33998824 | DOI:10.1037/prj0000480