Lockdown stress and burnout of public health personnel during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in Southern Thailand


1 Office of Disease Prevention and Control 12, Songkhla, Thailand

2 Faculty of Liberal Arts, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people around the world. Therefore, this situation has caused stress and burnout among the people and public health staff in Thailand. Objective: This study aimed to compare the stress and burnout levels among public health personnel during the lockdown and un-lockdown periods of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand. The secondary objective was to identify the factors associated with stress and burnout. Methods: This research was a cross-sectional survey study with online self-rated questionnaires. The sample size was 158 participants. Using convenience sampling, participants who worked in 12th health region, Southern Thailand took the questionnaire twice. The first time was during May–June 2020, which was the lockdown period from the COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand, and the participants completed the questionnaires again during July–August in the same year, which was the un-lockdown period. The non-parametric sign test, Spearman’s correlation, and logistic regression analyses were performed for testing the hypotheses. Results: The average total scores for stress during the lockdown and un-lockdown periods were 4.139 ± 3.534 and 3.398 ± 3.344, respectively. Moreover, the average total scores for burnout during the lockdown and un-lockdown periods were 1.573 ± 0.777 and 1.519 ± 0.702, respectively. The stress scores during the lockdown period were significantly higher than those during the un-lockdown period (sign test, P = 0.02). The stress correlated with the burnout by using Spearman’s correlation (P < 0.001). Binary logistic regression showed that the stress score (odds ratio 1.75; 95% confidence interval 1.41–2.91) was a risk factor for burnout. Conclusion: During the outbreak, the stress and burnout were high; the health organizations should have interventions or activities to reduce stress and burnout.


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