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Br J Anaesth ; 128(6): 971-979, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828008


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic generated a surge of critically ill patients greater than the capacity of the UK National Health Service (NHS). There have been multiple well-documented impacts associated with the national COVID-19 pandemic surge on ICU staff, including an increased prevalence of mental health disorders on a scale potentially sufficient to impair high-quality care delivery. We investigated the prevalence of five mental health outcomes; explored demographic and professional predictors of poor mental health outcomes; and describe the prevalence of functional impairment; and explore demographic and professional predictors of functional impairment in ICU staff over the 2020/2021 winter COVID-19 surge in England. METHODS: English ICU staff were surveyed before, during, and after the winter 2020/2021 surge using a survey which comprised validated measures of mental health. RESULTS: A total of 6080 surveys were completed, by ICU nurses (57.5%), doctors (27.9%), and other healthcare staff (14.5%). Reporting probable mental health disorders increased from 51% (before) to 64% (during), and then decreased to 46% (after). Younger, less experienced nursing staff were most likely to report probable mental health disorders. During and after the winter, >50% of participants met threshold criteria for functional impairment. Staff who reported probable post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression were more likely to meet threshold criteria for functional impairment. CONCLUSIONS: The winter of 2020/2021 was associated with an increase in poor mental health outcomes and functional impairment amongst ICU staff during a period of peak caseload. These effects are likely to impact on patient care outcomes and the longer-term resilience of the healthcare workforce.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Mental Health , Pandemics , State Medicine
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(6)2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255587


Dealing with excess death in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the question of a 'good or bad death' into sharp relief as countries across the globe have grappled with multiple peaks of cases and mortality; and communities mourn those lost. In the UK, these challenges have included the fact that mortality has adversely affected minority communities. Corpse disposal and social distancing guidelines do not allow a process of mourning in which families and communities can be involved in the dying process. This study aimed to examine the main concerns of faith and non-faith communities across the UK in relation to death in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research team used rapid ethnographic methods to examine the adaptations to the dying process prior to hospital admission, during admission, during the disposal and release of the body, during funerals and mourning. The study revealed that communities were experiencing collective loss, were making necessary adaptations to rituals that surrounded death, dying and mourning and would benefit from clear and compassionate communication and consultation with authorities.

Attitude to Death , COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/mortality , Humans , Qualitative Research , United Kingdom/epidemiology