Work-related stress and burnout among the palestinian midwives in the south district

Christina Michael Farah Khair
كرستينا ميشيل فرح خير
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Al-Quds University
Introduction:Although research into stress among health care providers has been extensive, research into stress among midwives has been scarce. (Linda birch,2001), Particularly in Palestine.Midwifery profession is an emotionally challenging profession and stressful job. Workplace stress might have a great influence on the work of the midwives’, it might impact their productivity and affect the quality of care provided for mother and also may lead them to burnout. Aim:To determine sources of workplace stressors and their relationship with burnout among midwives in the obstetric hospitals in south of west bank. Methodology: The study population is 145 Palestinian midwives working in obstetric departments in largest five hospitals in south of west bank. The researcher used a quantitative descriptive cross- sectional design. Data collection was done through a Self- administered questionnaire to a convenience sample that was about 118 midwives.The researcher used Two reliable and validated tools that were developed and used by the researchers in the previous studies. These tools are: The Expanded Nursing Stress Scale (ENSS) used to measure the job-related stressors among midwives and Maslach Burnout inventory (MBI) used to measure the level of burn out among the midwives. Result:the study revealed that (40.7%) of midwives had moderate stress, while 30 (25.4%) shown a high level of stress in obstetric hospitals in the south of the west bank. Regarding ENSS patient’s death and dying was themain source of workplace stress of the participants with a mean score of 2.78, SD= 0.840, and workload domain with a mean score of 2.53, SD= 0.879, while the problem with colleagues is the less source of stress among midwives with a mean score of 2.02, SD= 0.929. Regarding the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants as age group, marital status, education level and working shifts, years of experience, kind of job No significant difference was found related to stress and burn out. However, type of Hospital was found as a significant variable, in which the midwives who worked at the non-governmental hospital (M=68.06) were more stressed than those who worked at the governmental hospital (M=39.20), U=742, p= <0.001. The study findings indicate that midwives had a moderate level of burnout in the following domains:Emotional exhaustion with a mean 22.10 SD 12.7181, Depersonalization with a mean score 9.05 SD 7.4085 and Personal accomplishment domain with a mean score 33.09 SD 11.7283. Besides, a statistically significant positive small correlation was found between ENSS and emotional exhaustion (r= 0.265, p= 0.004). In addition to that, a significant positive large correlation was found between ENSS and personal accomplishment (r= 0.602, p= < 0.001). Conclusion:Workplace stressors and burnout among Palestinian Midwives is a serious issue. it had many influences on midwives’ work and their continuity in their profession. Workplace stressors and burnout may be reduced or may be prevented by good management, apply effective strategies by health care planners and policy makers to decrease causes of stress or contributing factors in order to decrease the burnout rate among midwives and improve work environment. Also using preventive program to decrease workplace stress and increase work ability among Palestinian midwives. this program focuses on eliminating, reducing or counteracting stress factors of working environment, development of attitudes and rewarding relationships, development of effective social support, modeling, programming and resource planning, consultation with employee, and involve employee to participate in decisions making. Keywords: Midwives, workplace stressors, burnout, ENSS, MBI.