INTRODUCTION: Nurses were among the healthcare professionals at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus 2019 pandemic and faced very stressful conditions. The aim of this study was to determine the level of psychological distress and well-being among nurses in Türkiye during this exceptionally challenging time.
METHODS: A total of 351 nurses participated in this cross-sectional study. The data were collected early in the pandemic during the period of April through June 2020 using a personal information form, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and the World Health Organization (Five) Well-Being Index (WHO-5).
RESULTS: Among the study participants, 69.2% of the nurses worked as an essential frontline caregiver (emergency/intensive care units and pandemic wards). The mean WHO-5 score was 9.15±4.77 and the mean GHQ-28 score reflecting psychological distress was 10.17±7.02. In all, 86% of the nurses reported an increased level of work-related stress. A low level of well-being was a predictor of psychological distress (R2=.284). The WHO-5 scores were negatively correlated with psychological distress scores (p<0.01; r=-0.535).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Nurses working on the frontline during a pandemic are at great risk of developing adverse mental health outcomes. The study findings showed that the nurses' level of well-being was associated with the level of psychological distress. It is important to provide nurses with adequate psychological support to increase their sense of well-being and reduce psychological distress in order to ensure quality of care and maintain job satisfaction.