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Emotion Study: Coronavirus Poses a High Risk to Nurses Staying in the Field

The coronavirus crisis has put an exceptional strain on social and health professionals: 44% of SuPer's members experience feelings that are primarily about giving up their jobs.

The Finnish Union of Practical Nurses SuPer has begun exploring the emotions of its members using digital emotional and behavioral intelligence. The first study examined the meanings and feelings experienced by social and health care staff, as well as people's behavior and engagement to their own work and the authorities' decisions regarding the coronavirus epidemic.

Daily work during the coronavirus situation aroused the most disappointment (16%) and fear (14%) among SuPer members. The most common positive feeling was contentment (12%), which indicates a positive experience but poor engagement. Compassion (11%), pride (9%) and sadness (8%) also emerged. The effects of emotions on behavior were analyzed using a scientific matrix: 44% of emotions predict stagnation, 34% positive involvement, 14% passive performance, and 8% resistance.

“The research results are worrying for society as a whole. For example, elderly care workers were not sufficiently addressed in the fight against the coronavirus. When trained professionals know that they cannot adequately protect the elderly from infection, the burden is unreasonable. What happens if these helpers break the weight of crippling emotions, give up, and don't have the strength to carry on? Social and health care personnel must not be left alone, but must be supported by all possible means, ”says Päivi Jokimäki, SuPer's Director of Communications.

The most common emotions among respondents, aroused by the authorities' decisions on the coronavirus epidemic, were contentment (20%), disappointment (19%) and interest (12%). Fear (11%), compassion (8%), and relief (7%) also emerged. The behavioral matrix predicted mostly stagnation (37%) followed by positive engagement (35%), passivity (21%), and resistance (7%).

“The emotions evoked by the actions of the authorities became polarized. One-fifth of respondents felt that the decisions met expectations, and one-fifth saw them as disappointing. Interest speaks of controllability, fear of uncontrollability. The contradiction is also evident in the dichotomy of stagnation and committed behavior. Emotions tell about meanings in people’s daily lives and have a strong impact on behavior. Making feelings visible and strengthening empathy and compassion is important for society, especially in crisis situations, ”says Timo Järvinen, CEO of NayaDaya Oy, which conducted the research.

More than 2,500 SuPer members participated in the May-June survey.

Further Information:

Timo Järvinen, CEO, Co-founder, NayaDaya Inc., tel. +358 40 505 7745,

The Finnish Union of Practical Nurses SuPer is the largest trade union in Finland for social services and health care professionals. SuPer is a strong and brave advocate of its 90,000 members, a developer of the profession and training as well as a social influencer that also participates in international activities. Further information:

NayaDaya Inc. uncovers the emotional and the behavioral impact of brands and phenomena. Through the data-driven insight, it's possible to understand and influence emotional experiences, behavior, and engagement. The high-quality data is based on the scientific theory, research, and analytics. NayaDaya is striving for empathy, to empower responsible brands and organizations to thrive and shape the world. Data and further information:


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