Des études antérieures ont montré une association entre les exigences professionnelles et l’épuisement professionnel chez le personnel médical pendant la pandémie. Cependant, ces études n’ont pas tenu compte de la possibilité d’un cycle de perte pendant la crise. Afin de combler cette lacune, l’objectif de cette étude était de tester le rôle médiateur de l’épuisement professionnel dans la relation positive entre les exigences professionnelles et l’autodestruction des employés de la santé pendant la pandémie de COVID-19.
Previous studies have shown an association between job demands and burnout in medical staff during the pandemic. However, these studies have ignored the possibility of loss cycle occurrence during the crisis. In order to address this gap, the aim of this study was to test the mediating role of burnout in the positive relationship between job demands and the self-undermining of healthcare employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Self-undermining represents the set of behaviors that generate obstacles and diminish performance (e.g., careless mistakes, generating interpersonal conflicts, poor communication), and it has been suggested that this variable could explain the loss cycle between demands and burnout (the phenomenon in which demands increase burnout, which in turn leads to even greater demands). A total of 523 healthcare workers from two Romanian hospitals (e.g., physicians, nurses, stretcher-bearers) completed a self-report questionnaire during the COVID-19 outbreak that included three job demands, burnout, and self-undermining. Burnout mediated the positive relationship between two demands (work–family conflict; lack of equipment and supplies) and self-undermining. These results may provide a preliminary indication for the existence of loss cycles, supporting the assumptions of the job demands-resources theory. Moreover, the results highlight the risk of loss cycle occurrences for healthcare employees during outbreaks.