The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges, particularly for healthcare workers (HCWs). The prolonged struggles exposed the HCWs to a variety of stressors, potentially leading to burnout. Emotional exhaustion is widely recognized as the core component of burnout. This research aims to conceptualize and develop an emotional exhaustion screening questionnaire through literature review, validation, and accuracy testing.
A literature review of questionnaires and extraction of items on emotional exhaustion were performed in June 2022. We proceed with the face validity of the items by experts. The items with good content validity ratio and index were selected and reworded to suit the context of HCWs working during the COVID-19 pandemic. A pilot test of the questionnaire was done in the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA) from October to December 2022 with a sample of 148 HCWs from the ORCHESTRA cohort to determine its reliability, convergent validity, and accuracy.
Our literature review identified 15 validated questionnaires. After exclusion, 32 items were sent for content validation by experts, yielding five final items that proceeded with the pilot test. Resulting in a Cronbach’s alpha-coefficient of .83 for the scale and .78 for dichotomous responses, demonstrating good internal consistency and convergent validity. The result of our accuracy test yielded sensitivity (90.6%) and specificity (91.6%) for the OEEQ scale; and sensitivity (88.7%) and specificity (89.5%) for OEEQ dichotomous responses.
This study developed and validated the ORCHESTRA Emotional Exhaustion Questionnaire, demonstrating the questionnaire’s clarity, relevance, and comprehensibility in screening emotional exhaustion among HCWs.