Stress load and volunteer motivation of patient volunteers in Fangcang shelter hospitals in Shanghai, China during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey.
This study aims to assess the volunteer motivation and stress load of patient volunteers in the Fangcang shelter hospitals (FSHs), examine their associations, and explore the potential influence factors of volunteer motivation.
Cross-sectional online survey conducted from 21 April to 20 May 2022.
Questionnaires were collected from patient volunteers selected by random cluster sampling in the FSHs in Shanghai, China.
197 participants who met the inclusion criteria as patients who were asymptomatic or presenting with mild symptoms in the FSHs and who volunteered to assist with routine work under quarantined settings.
We investigated sociodemographic information, stress load and volunteer motivation through an online survey using the Volunteer Function Inventory and the Stress Overload Scale. Comparisons between groups were conducted by applying t-tests or analysis of variance. The correlation between volunteer motivation and stress was analysed by Pearson correlation. Influencing factors of volunteer motivation were determined by multivariable linear regression models. A value of p<0.05 was used to declare statistical significance.
The mean score of volunteer motivation of patient volunteers was 73.24 (SD 12.00), while that of stress load was 46.08 (SD 21.28). The mean scores of the personal vulnerability (PV) and event load (EL), two dimensions of stress load, were 26.99 (SD 12.46) and 19.09 (SD 9.63), respectively. The majority of the participants (136, 69.04%) were grouped in the low (PV)-low (EL) stress category. Participants' volunteer motivation was negatively correlated with stress load (r=-0.238, p<0.001), as well as PV (r=-0.188, p<0.01) and EL (r=-0.283, p<0.001). Multivariable linear regression analysis identified that the potential influencing factors of volunteer motivation were occupation (B=1.100, 95% CI 0.037 to 2.164, p=0.043), health condition (B=-3.302, 95% CI -5.287 to -1.317, p<0.001) and EL (B=-0.434, 95% CI -0.756 to -0.111, p=0.009). Participants who worked in the public sector, had better health conditions and had lower EL were more likely to have higher volunteer motivation.
Our study suggested that reducing stress load might be a possible pathway to encourage and maintain volunteerism in the FSH context. Implications and suggestions for future research on patient volunteer recruitment and management could be drawn from our findings.