Fear of COVID-19, psychological distress, work satisfaction and turnover intention among frontline nurses

Leodoro J. Labrague*, Janet Alexis A. de los Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

391 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To examine the relative influence of fear of COVID-19 on nurses' psychological distress, work satisfaction and intent to leave their organisation and the profession. Background: The emergence of COVID-19 has significantly impacted the psychological and mental well-being of frontline health care workers, including nurses. To date, no studies have been conducted examining how this fear of COVID-19 contributes to health, well-being and work outcomes in frontline nurses. Methods: This is a cross-sectional research design involving 261 frontline nurses in the Philippines. Five standardized scales were used for data collection. Results: Overall, the composite score of the fear of COVID-19 scale was 19.92. Job role and attendance of COVID-19-related training predicted fear of COVID-19. An increased level of fear of COVID-19 was associated with decreased job satisfaction, increased psychological distress and increased organisational and professional turnover intentions. Conclusions: Frontline nurses who reported not having attended COVID-19-related training and those who held part-time job roles reported increased fears of COVID-19. Addressing the fear of COVID-19 may result in improved job outcomes in frontline nurses, such as increased job satisfaction, decreased stress levels and lower intent to leave the organisation and the profession. Implications for Nursing Management: Organisational measures are vital to support the mental health of nurses and address their fear of COVID-19 through peer and social support, psychological and mental support services (e.g. counselling or psychotherapy), provision of training related to COVID-19 and accurate and regular information updates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 11 2020


  • COVID-19
  • fear
  • job satisfaction
  • nursing
  • psychological distress
  • turnover intention
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Philippines/epidemiology
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital/psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Professional Role
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Fear
  • Personnel Turnover/trends
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Burnout, Professional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management


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