Quality of life among healthcare workers: a multicentre cross-sectional study in Italy

Public Health. 2012 Jul;126(7):624-9. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2012.03.006. Epub 2012 May 22.


Objective: To evaluate the quality of life among doctors, nurses, and occupational safety and health technologists (OSHT).

Study design: Cross-sectional study was undertaken in a population of healthcare workers in 10 Italian regions.

Methods: The Italian version of short form-36 (SF-36) was anonymously and voluntarily self-administered by participants to assess the perceived health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The HRQOL scores for the sample and the Italian population were compared. A multiple linear regression was performed to assess the influence of age, gender, role, socializing time, working time, years spent in healthcare and years spent in the specific department on the SF-36 score.

Results: The sample included 324 healthcare workers [57.1% women, mean age 39.0 (standard deviation 10.2) years]: 52.6% were medical doctors, 36.8% were nurses and 10.5% were OSHTs. Workers with a career of >15 years achieved a general health score lower than that of workers with a shorter career, while those who spent more time in socializing activities achieved a higher mental health score. The multivariate analysis showed that increasing age is positively related to role emotional levels (β = 0.243; P = 0.002), while it appears to be inversely related to general health (β = -0.218; P = 0.007) and physical function (β = -0.246; P = 0.001). Nurses had lower scores for bodily pain (β = -0.214; P < 0.001), social function (β = -0.242; P = 0.001) and role emotional (β = -0.211; P = 0.006) compared with doctors. Compared with the general Italian population, healthcare workers had higher scores for general health, physical function, role physical, bodily pain and mental health, and lower scores for vitality, social function and role emotional.

Conclusions: Healthcare workers have different levels of HRQOL related to their professional role. In particular, nurses have lower quality of life. These results may help to identify the main roles and attitudes that could cause frustration, dissatisfaction and emotional stress in healthcare workers.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Health Personnel*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*