Assessing the level of burnout among maternity healthcare workers at Zomba Central Hospital, Zomba and Bwaila Maternity Unit, Lilongwe, Malawi

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Burnout is more prevalent in healthcare workers due to emotional strain of dealing with patients’ pain and suffering, accompanied by a poor working environment which leads to: poor quality of work, loss of self-confidence, negative attitudes, staff conflicts, absenteeism, anxiety and frustration. The rate and effects of burnout have not been properly investigated in the maternity facilities in Malawi. The main aim of the study was to assess the level of burnout among maternity healthcare workers by specifically determining the extent, describing the factors associated with it and exploring measures that can address burnout among maternity healthcare workers. A cross-sectional study was conducted among maternity healthcare workers at Zomba Central Hospital (ZCH) and Bwaila Maternity Unit (BMU) in June 2017.Data were collected using an adapted Maslach Burnout Inventory self-administered questionnaire which included demographic characteristics, job perceptions and burnout constructs: emotional exhaustion(EE), depersonalization(DP) and reduced personal accomplishment(PA). A total of 81 participants were enrolled in the study, 50 (62%) were from Bwaila Maternity Unit and 31(38%) from Zomba Central Hospital. The mean age was 31 years (SD: 6.2); 68 % (55) were female; 65% (52) were married. 21(26%) of the participants were from antenatal, 27(33%) from labour, 20(25%) from postnatal wards and 13 (16%) worked in all departments (antenatal, labour and postnatal wards). There was 75%, 28 % and 33 %burnout rates on EE, DP and reduced PA. In multivariate analysis, healthcare worker absenteeism (adjusted OR {P-value} 15.38(0.05) and low job satisfaction (adjusted OR {P-value} 17.72(0.02) were the only factors associated with EE.