AIMS: To describe the level of work engagement of active healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its relationship with psychological distress according to the professional category .
BACKGROUND: Healthcare professionals working on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic are at risk of psychological distress, and work engagement could be a positive attitude that could serve as a protective factor .
METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study of 1459 healthcare professionals . Psychological distress was measured with the General Health Questionnaire and work engagement with the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale . Data were analysed with bivariate analyses and correlations .
RESULTS: Psychological distress was reported by 80.6% of healthcare professionals . Work engagement as high with a total mean score of 5.04 (SD=1.14). The results showed that distressed professionals showed significantly lower levels of work engagement .
CONCLUSIONS: The present study identified psychological distress and work engagement experienced by healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic . Most of the variables included in the study revealed a significant relationship with psychological distress and work engagement .
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: The relationship between the working conditions with psychological distress and work engagement suggests that improvements in the workplace are needed to promote protective measure for the mental health of healthcare professionals.
Index: COVID-19, coronavirus, healthcare professionals, nurses, psychological distress, work engagement