Background: The role of nurses in the health care delivery system cannot be overemphasized. Nurses are needed at all levels of healthcare and the profession requires a lot of dedication, time and energy with regards to patient management and service delivery. This time investment and dedication to duty is likely to lead to burnout and psychological distress among the nurses.
Objective: This study assesses the prevalence of burnout and psychological distress among primary health care nurses working in North West Bank.
Methods: A quantitative survey design was employed as the method for data collection, with a self-administered questionnaire pack being the data collection technique. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) were used to assess burnout and psychological distress among 295 nurses and midwives working in the Palestinian governmental primary health care centers in North West Bank. Data were analyzed using a variety of descriptive and inferential statistical methods using the SPSS system version 20.
Results: The prevalence of burnout was 10.6% among 207 nurses and midwives who participated in this study, high levels of burnout were identified in 36.7% of the respondents in the area of emotional exhaustion, 14% in the area of depersonalization and 17.9% in the area of reduced personal accomplishment. While 22.6% scored positive in the GHQ-28 indicating presence of psychological distress.
Conclusion: Findings from this study contributes to the understanding of the relationship between nurses' burnout syndrome and the level of psychological distress and points out that nurse burnout and psychological distress is not uncommon among nurses working in PHC in North West Bank. Nurses' burnout and psychological distress levels proved to have special characteristics relating to the unique composition of health care in the Palestine.
Keywords: Burnout, Psychological Distress, Primary Health Care, Nurses.