Professional quality of life and emotional well-being among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran


Objective: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are among the highest groups impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to analyze professional quality of life (ProQOL) and its association with emotional well-being in HCWs during the pandemic. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on HCWs being in close contact with COVID-19 patients in Iran. The questionnaires assessing ProQOL, emotional well-being, and demographic and occupational characteristics were recruited via email or social media. The ProQOL was used to measure compassion fatigue (CF), burnout (BO) and compassion satisfaction (CS). Results: Among the respondents, 705 HCWs were enrolled, including a higher proportion of physicians 449 (63.7%), females 452 (64.1%), and married 486 (68.9%). The mean of participants’ work experience was 8.41 ± 8.91 years. Almost all of HCWs showed moderate to high levels of CS (98.3%). Also, most of HCWs showed a moderate level of CF (96.3%), and the majority of them (76.6%) had a moderate level of BO. There were significant differences in the duration of contact with COVID-19 patients for all three components of ProQOL and emotional well-being score. Women had a higher level of BO than men (P=0.003). CS was significantly higher in married HCWs than in singles (P=0.007). Pearson correlation coefficient showed that CS had a negative relationship with CF and BO. However, there was a direct correlation between emotional well-being and the CS. Conclusion: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Iranian HCWs showed to have moderate to high levels of CS, and a moderate level of both CF and BO, and showed that emotional well-being had a direct correlation with CS.

1. Azadnajafabad S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Rezaei N, Ghasemi E, Naderimagham S, Azmin M, et al. A report on statistics of an online self-screening platform for COVID-19 and its effectiveness in Iran. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2021; Online ahead of print.
2. Coronavirus pandemic data portal. Accessed April1, 2020. [available via:].
3. Pothiawala S. Psychological impact of the COVID-19 on health care workers in the emergency department. Adv J Emerg Med. 2020;4(2s):e58.
4. Smart D, English A, James J, Wilson M, Daratha KB, Childers B, et al. Compassion fatigue and satisfaction: a cross‐sectional survey among US healthcare workers. Nurs Health Sci. 2014;16(1):3-10.
5. Stamm B. The concise ProQOL manual. Pocatello, ID. Retrieved from ProQOL org. 2010
6. Kim K, Han Y, Kwak Y, Kim JS. Professional quality of life and clinical competencies among Korean nurses. Asian Nurs Res. 2015;9(3):200-6.
7. Verheyden C, Van Holen F, West D, Vanderfaeillie J. Secondary traumatic stress, burnout and compassion satisfaction among Flemish foster care workers during the COVID-19 lockdown. Dev Child Welfare. 2020;2(4):227-43.
8. Beaumont E, Durkin M, Martin CJ, Carson J. Compassion for others, self-compassion, quality of life and mental well-being measures and their association with compassion fatigue and burnout in student midwives: a quantitative survey. Midwifery. 2016;34:239-44.
9. Ruiz-Fernández MD, Pérez-García E, Ortega-Galán ÁM. Quality of life in nursing professionals: burnout, fatigue, and compassion satisfaction. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(4):1253.
10. Buselli R, Corsi M, Baldanzi S, Chiumiento M, Del Lupo E, Dell'Oste V, et al. Professional quality of life and mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to Sars-Cov-2 (Covid-19). Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(17):6180.
11. Lai J, Ma S, Wang Y, Cai Z, Hu J, Wei N, et al. Factors associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to coronavirus disease 2019. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e203976.
12. Maslach C, Leiter MP. Early predictors of job burnout and engagement. J Appl Psychol. 2008;93(3):498-512.
13. Wu P, Fang Y, Guan Z, Fan B, Kong J, Yao Z, et al. The psychological impact of the SARS epidemic on hospital employees in China: exposure, risk perception, and altruistic acceptance of risk. Can J Psychiatry. 2009;54(5):302-11.
14. Matsuishi K, Kawazoe A, Imai H, Ito A, Mouri K, Kitamura N, et al. Psychological impact of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 on general hospital workers in Kobe. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2012;66(4):353-60.
15. Aghili SM, Arbabi M. The COVID-19 pandemic and the health care providers; what does it mean psychologically? Adv J Emerg Med. 2020;4(2s):e63.
16. Franza F, Basta R, Pellegrino F, Solomita B, Fasano V. The role of fatigue of compassion, burnout and hopelessness in healthcare: experience in the time of COVID-19 outbreak. Psychiatr Danub. 2020;32(Suppl 1):10-14.
17. Adams RE, Boscarino JA, Figley CR. Compassion fatigue and psychological distress among social workers: a validation study. Am J orthopsychiatry. 2006;76(1):103-8.
18. Ghorji M, Keshavarz Z, Ebadi A, Nasiri M. Persian translation and psychometric properties of professional quality of life scale (ProQOL) for health care providers. J Maz Uni Med Sci. 2018;28(163):93-106.
19. Mokhtari S, Ahi G, Sharifzadeh G. Investigating the role of self-compassion and clinical competencies in the prediction of nurses’ professional quality of life. Iran J Nurs Res. 2018;12(6):1-9.
20. Keyes CL, Shmotkin D, Ryff CD. Optimizing well-being: the empirical encounter of two traditions. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002;82(6):1007-22.
21. Ghalami Z, sohrabi Z. The study of relationship between perceived parenting styles with emotional well-being and social well-being of students. Rooyesh-e-Ravanshenasi Journal. 2019;8(7):107-12.[Persian].
22. Cuartero-Castañer ME, Hidalgo-Andrade P, Cañas-Lerma AJ. Professional quality of life, engagement, and self-care in healthcare professionals in Ecuador during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare (Basel). 2021;9(5):515.
23. Tomar BS, Suman S, Singh P, Raj P, Nathiya D. Mental health outcome and professional quality of life among healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic: a frontline-COVID survey. Hamdan Med J. 2020;13(4):196-202.
24. Trumello C, Bramanti SM, Ballarotto G, Candelori C, Cerniglia L, Cimino S, et al. Psychological adjustment of healthcare workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic: differences in stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, secondary trauma, and compassion satisfaction between frontline and non-frontline professionals. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(22):8358.
25. Ruiz‐Fernández MD, Ramos‐Pichardo JD, Ibáñez‐Masero O, Cabrera‐Troya J, Carmona‐Rega MI, Ortega‐Galán ÁM. Compassion fatigue, burnout, compassion satisfaction and perceived stress in healthcare professionals during the COVID‐19 health crisis in Spain. J Clin Nurs. 2020;29(21-22):4321-30.
26. Wu Y, Wang J, Luo C, Hu S, Lin X, Anderson AE, et al. A comparison of burnout frequency among oncology physicians and nurses working on the frontline and usual wards during the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan, China. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2020;60(1): e60–5.
IssueVol 6 No 1 (2022): Winter (February) QRcode
SectionOriginal article
DOI 10.18502/fem.v6i1.7674
Compassion Fatigue COVID-19 Emotional Stress Job Satisfaction Quality of Life Professional Burnout

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Azizkhani R, Heydari F, Sadeghi A, Ahmadi O, Azimi Meibody A. Professional quality of life and emotional well-being among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran. Front Emerg Med. 2021;6(1):e2.


Download data is not yet available.

Most read articles by the same author(s)