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1.
Psychol Health Med ; : 1-13, 2022 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915415

ABSTRACT

Psychological distress has been repeatedly quantified over the course of the pandemic, however this has not always included broader healthcare workers, and has mostly focused on prevalence and occupational factors. This study investigated intolerance of uncertainty (IOU), fear of contamination and perceived social support as key predictors of psychological distress in healthcare professionals, between the 10th and 23 June 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study was a cross-sectional, online survey design. Opportunity sampling was used to recruit to the study, primarily using social media sites and snowballing techniques. The final sample included 342 National Health Service (NHS) healthcare workers. IU (p < .001), gender (p < .001), fear of contamination (p = .007), perceived social support (p = .012), and age (p = .017) significantly predicted psychological distress in the sample and accounted for 36.2% of variance in psychological distress scores. IOU accounted for 28.2% of this variance. A two-way post hoc ANOVA, looking at gender and profession, showed a significant main effect of gender on psychological distress scores (F(1,218) = 7.156, p = .008, ηp2 = .032), with females reporting significantly higher psychological distress scores compared to males. In conclusion, higher levels of intolerance of uncertainty, fear of contamination and lower levels of perceived social support significantly influenced higher scores of psychological distress. These factors should be considered when adapting and delivering evidence-based interventions to healthcare staff during this crisis.

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(12)2022 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896862

ABSTRACT

In March 2020, individuals shielding from coronavirus reported high rates of distress. This study investigated whether fear of contamination (FoC) and use of government-recommended behaviours (GRB; e.g., handwashing and wearing masks) were associated with psychological distress during February 2021. An online cross-sectional questionnaire assessed psychological distress in three groups (shielding self, shielding other/s, and control), and those shielding others also completed an adapted measure of health anxiety (α = 0.94). The sample (N = 723) was predominantly female (84%) with a mean age of 41.72 (SD = 15.15). Those shielding (self) demonstrated significantly higher rates of health anxiety and FoC in comparison to other groups (p < 0.001). The use of GRB was significantly lower in controls (p < 0.001), with no significant difference between the two shielding groups (p = 0.753). Rates of anxiety were higher when compared to March 2020 findings, except for controls. Hierarchical regressions indicated FoC and GRB accounted for 24% of variance in generalised anxiety (p < 0.001) and 28% in health anxiety, however, the latter was a non-significant predictor in final models. Those shielding themselves and others during the pandemic have experienced sustained levels of distress; special consideration must be given to those indirectly affected. Psychological interventions should account for realistic FoC and the impact of government-recommended health behaviours, as these factors are associated with distress in vulnerable groups and may extend beyond the pandemic. Future research should focus on longitudinal designs to monitor and better understand the clinical needs of those shielding, and those shielding others post-pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/psychology , Family , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572458

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to gain an uncensored insight into the most difficult aspects of working as a frontline doctor across successive COVID-19 pandemic waves. Data collected by the parent study (CERA) was analysed using conventional content analysis. Participants comprised frontline doctors who worked in emergency, anaesthetic, and intensive care medicine in the UK and Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 1379). All seniority levels were represented, 42.8% of the sample were male, and 69.2% were white. Four themes were identified with nine respective categories (in parentheses): (1) I'm not a COVID hero, I'm COVID cannon fodder (exposed and unprotected, "a kick in the teeth"); (2) the relentlessness and pervasiveness of COVID ("no respite", "shifting sands"); (3) the ugly truths of the frontline ("inhumane" care, complex team dynamics); (4) an overwhelmed system exacerbated by COVID (overstretched and under-resourced, constant changes and uncertainty, the added hinderance of infection control measures). Findings reflect the multifaceted challenges faced after successive pandemic waves; basic wellbeing needs continue to be neglected and the emotional impact is further pronounced. Steps are necessary to mitigate the repeated trauma exposure of frontline doctors as COVID-19 becomes endemic and health services attempt to recover with inevitable long-term sequelae.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409531

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to develop empirically grounded recommendations and a coherent model of psychological care derived from the experiences and psychological care needs of COVID-19 frontline doctors, using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Participants were UK frontline doctors specialising in Emergency Medicine, Anaesthetics, or Intensive Care (n = 31) purposively sampled for maximum variation on gender, specialty, ethnicity, and trauma-related distress; most worked in ICU during the pandemic (71%). Four themes were derived: (1) 'coping strategies', participants used many, including exercise, mindfulness, and "wait until it gets really bad"; (2) 'sources of support', participants valued embedded psychological support, digital services, and informal conversations with colleagues or family, though there was little opportunity; (3) 'organisational influences on wellbeing', participants reported a love-hate relationship for concepts like 'wellbeing', seen as important but insulting when basic workplace needs were unmet; (4) 'improving engagement with support', analysis suggests we must reduce physical and psychological barriers to access and encourage leaders to model psychologically supportive behaviours. Doctors' frontline COVID-19 working experiences shine a 'spotlight' on pre-existing problems such as lack of physical resources and access to psychological care. Empirically grounded recommendations and a model of incremental psychological care are presented for use in clinical services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Cohort Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
BMJ Open ; 11(7): e049680, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304231

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on doctors is a significant concern. Due to the emergence of multiple pandemic waves, longitudinal data on the impact of COVID-19 are vital to ensure an adequate psychological care response. The primary aim was to assess the prevalence and degree of psychological distress and trauma in frontline doctors during the acceleration, peak and deceleration of the COVID-19 first wave. Personal and professional factors associated with psychological distress are also reported. DESIGN: A prospective online three-part longitudinal survey. SETTING: Acute hospitals in the UK and Ireland. PARTICIPANTS: Frontline doctors working in emergency medicine, anaesthetics and intensive care medicine during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Psychological distress and trauma measured using the General Health Questionnaire-12 and the Impact of Events-Revised. RESULTS: The initial acceleration survey distributed across networks generated a sample of 5440 doctors. Peak and deceleration response rates from the original sample were 71.6% (n=3896) and 56.6% (n=3079), respectively. Prevalence of psychological distress was 44.7% (n=1334) during the acceleration, 36.9% (n=1098) at peak and 31.5% (n=918) at the deceleration phase. The prevalence of trauma was 23.7% (n=647) at peak and 17.7% (n=484) at deceleration. The prevalence of probable post-traumatic stress disorder was 12.6% (n=343) at peak and 10.1% (n=276) at deceleration. Worry of family infection due to clinical work was the factor most strongly associated with both distress (R2=0.06) and trauma (R2=0.10). CONCLUSION: Findings reflect a pattern of elevated distress at acceleration and peak, with some natural recovery. It is essential that policymakers seek to prevent future adverse effects through (a) provision of vital equipment to mitigate physical and psychological harm, (b) increased awareness and recognition of signs of psychological distress and (c) the development of clear pathways to effective psychological care. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN10666798.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
7.
Emerg Med J ; 38(6): 450-459, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175182

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To quantify psychological distress experienced by emergency, anaesthetic and intensive care doctors during the acceleration phase of COVID-19 in the UK and Ireland. METHODS: Initial cross-sectional electronic survey distributed during acceleration phase of the first pandemic wave of COVID-19 in the UK and Ireland (UK: 18 March 2020-26 March 2020 and Ireland: 25 March 2020-2 April 2020). Surveys were distributed via established specialty research networks, within a three-part longitudinal study. Participants were doctors working in emergency, anaesthetic and intensive medicine during the first pandemic wave of COVID-19 in acute hospitals across the UK and Ireland. Primary outcome measures were the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12). Additional questions examined personal and professional characteristics, experiences of COVID-19 to date, risk to self and others and self-reported perceptions of health and well-being. RESULTS: 5440 responses were obtained, 54.3% (n=2955) from emergency medicine and 36.9% (n=2005) from anaesthetics. All levels of doctor seniority were represented. For the primary outcome of GHQ-12 score, 44.2% (n=2405) of respondents scored >3, meeting the criteria for psychological distress. 57.3% (n=3045) had never previously provided clinical care during an infectious disease outbreak but over half of respondents felt somewhat prepared (48.6%, n=2653) or very prepared (7.6%, n=416) to provide clinical care to patients with COVID-19. However, 81.1% (n=4414) either agreed (31.1%, n=2709) or strongly agreed (31.1%, n=1705) that their personal health was at risk due to their clinical role. CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that during the acceleration phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost half of frontline doctors working in acute care reported psychological distress as measured by the GHQ-12. Findings from this study should inform strategies to optimise preparedness and explore modifiable factors associated with increased psychological distress in the short and long term. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN10666798.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Stress/epidemiology , Physicians/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Anesthesia/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/psychology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Stress/etiology , Physicians/psychology , Psychological Distress , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
8.
Am Psychol ; 76(3): 427-437, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065805

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic wave of COVID-19 has resulted in significant uncertainty for the general public. Mental health and examining factors that may influence distress have been outlined as key research priorities to inform interventions. This research sought to examine whether intolerance of uncertainty and coping responses influence the degree of distress experienced by the U.K. general public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a cross-sectional online questionnaire design, participants were recruited (N = 842) using snowball sampling over a 10-day period in the early "lockdown" phase of the pandemic. Around a quarter of participants demonstrated significantly elevated anxiety and depression, with 14.8% reaching clinical cutoff for health anxiety. A one-way multivariate analysis of variance indicated those in "vulnerable" groups were significantly more anxious (p < .001), and also more anxious in relation to their health (p < .001). Mediation modeling demonstrated maladaptive coping responses partially mediated the predictive relationship between intolerance of uncertainty and psychological distress. Mental health difficulties have become significantly raised during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, particularly for the vulnerable. Findings support emerging research suggesting the general public is struggling with uncertainty, more so than normal. Vulnerable groups are more anxious about their health, but not more intolerant of uncertainty than the nonvulnerable. Finally, this study indicated two modifiable factors that could act as treatment targets when adapting interventions for mental health during the COVID-19 global health crisis. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Behavioral Symptoms , COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Uncertainty , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Behavioral Symptoms/diagnosis , Behavioral Symptoms/epidemiology , Behavioral Symptoms/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
10.
BMJ Open ; 10(8): e039851, 2020 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-714130

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic is putting an unprecedented strain on healthcare systems globally. The psychological impact on frontline doctors of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is currently unknown. This longitudinal professional survey aims to understand the evolving and cumulative effects of working during the COVID-19 outbreak on the psychological well-being of doctors working in emergency departments (ED), intensive care units (ICU) and anaesthetics during the pandemic. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study is a longitudinal questionnaire-based study with three predefined time points spanning the acceleration, peak and deceleration phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.The primary outcomes are psychological distress and post-trauma stress as measured by the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) and Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R). Data related to personal and professional characteristics will also be collected. Questionnaires will be administered prospectively to all doctors working in ED, ICU and anaesthetics in the UK and Ireland via existing research networks during the sampling period. Data from the questionnaires will be analysed to assess the prevalence and degree of psychological distress and trauma, and the nature of the relationship between personal and professional characteristics and the primary outcomes. Data will be described, analysed and disseminated at each time point; however, the primary endpoint will be psychological distress and trauma at the final time point. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Bath, UK (ref: 4421), and Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin, Ethics Committee. Regulatory approval from the Health Regulation Authority (UK), Health and Care Research Wales (IRAS: 281944).This study is limited by the fact that it focuses on doctors only and is survey based without further qualitative interviews of participants. It is expected this study will provide clear evidence of the psychological impact of COVID-19 on doctors and will allow present and future planning to mitigate against any psychological impact. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN10666798.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Medical Staff, Hospital/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Anesthesia Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Ireland/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Prevalence , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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