Public views on healthcare workers' burnout before and during COVID-19: A comparative study

Ilya Kagan*, Judith Tsamir, Esti Engelchin Nissan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Understanding burnout among nurses and physicians may mobilize public support for increasing budgets, personnel, and trust in both routine and pandemic times. The study aimed to examine public views of nurse and physician burnout both before and 1 year after the COVID-19 outbreak. Design: This study was conducted in two phases in a pre-post design. Methods: The general public (a random sample) responded to a structured questionnaire with 1–2 open-ended questions: (a) before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019 during routine life (n = 504) and (b) 1 year after the COVID-19 outbreak, in 2021 (n = 500). Quantitative and qualitative data on public perceptions of nurse and physician burnout, its sources and consequences, were collected. Results: The public view was that hospital physicians and even more so hospital nurses suffer from higher burnout than those working in the community, and that this worsened during the pandemic. Three themes related to caregiver burnout were identified: (a) work overload, (b) lack of sensitivity, empathy, and motivation, and (c) impaired ability to provide quality care. Conclusions: The public is aware of the experiences of caregivers both in times of routine and in emergency. Healthcare management must influence public opinion in order to receive support for organizational steps. Clinical Relevance: Healthcare leaders should leverage public support in order to receive backing for organizational moves aimed at improving work conditions and, in turn, the quality of care and patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1043
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Ramat Gan Academic College


    • burnout
    • nurses
    • physicians
    • public views
    • quality of care


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