Turnover intention and coronaphobia among frontline nurses during the second surge of COVID-19: The mediating role of social support and coping skills

Dennis C. Fronda, Leodoro J. Labrague*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Turnover among frontline health care workers, particularly nurses, reached an alarming rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. This turnover has been attributed, in part, to excessive fear of the virus (a condition called coronaphobia). Studies have not yet been conducted examining whether social support and coping skills could act as buffers between coronaphobia and the intention to leave. Aim: To examine the relationship between coronaphobia and frontline nurses' organisational and professional turnover intention and to assess whether social support and coping skills can buffer this relationship. Methods: A correlational research design was used to collect responses through an online questionnaire from a convenience sample of 687 frontline nurses from the Central Philippines. Data were analyzed using descriptive (mean, standard deviation and percentages) and inferential statistics (t test, Pearson r correlation coefficient, ANOVA and multiple linear regression). Results: More than half of the frontline nurses experienced coronaphobia, while 25.8% reported a desire to leave their job and 20.7% reported a desire to leave their profession. Coronaphobia had direct significant effects on nurses' organisational (β =.424, p <.001) and professional turnover intention (β =.316, p <.001). Social support and coping skills partially mediated the relationship between organisational (β =.365, p <.001; β =.362, p <.001) and professional turnover intention (β =.279, p <.001; β =.289, p <.001). Conclusion: Frontline nurses who experienced coronaphobia were more likely to quit their job and the nursing profession. Increasing nurses' social support and enhancing their coping skills reduced the negative effects of coronaphobia, resulting in improved nurse retention. Implications for Nursing Management: Institutional approaches to reduce coronaphobia and turnover intention during the pandemic can be facilitated by improving social support through innovative approaches (e.g., use of technology and social media) and equipping nurses with positive coping skills through coping skills training and other empirically based coping skill-building interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-621
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • coping
  • coronaphobia
  • nursing
  • social support
  • turnover intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management

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