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Aust Crit Care ; 35(1): 40-45, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377658


BACKGROUND: Critical care healthcare professionals are a key part of any pandemic response and are at an increased risk for physical and psychological harm, yet their self-reported suggestions to ameliorate the negative effects of pandemics on their wellbeing have rarely been sought. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to explore and interpret themes of critical care healthcare professionals' responses to the question 'What do you think could assist your wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis?' METHODS: A descriptive study using an online survey, performed in April 2020, investigating pandemic preparedness and psychological burden during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic among critical care professionals was carried out. Informal snowball sampling was used. Thematic analysis of qualitative data from an open-ended survey item was informed by Braun and Clark. FINDINGS: Eighty percent (2387/3770) of respondents completed the open-ended survey. Three themes were generated from the synthesis: adequate resourcing for the role; consistent, clear information, and prioritised communications; and the need for genuine kindness and provision of support for healthcare professional wellbeing. CONCLUSIONS: There is merit for considering the perceptions, concerns, and suggestions of critical care clinicians during a pandemic. Suggestions included simple measures to maintain physical and mental health, clear messaging, consistent information, trust in health and political leaders, supportive working environments, specific training, and allowances for personal circumstances. This information is important for health and political leaders and policy makers to implement strategies to reduce the burden associated with delivering care in the context of a pandemic.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Critical Care , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Surveys and Questionnaires
Aust Crit Care ; 35(1): 22-27, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225140


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has again highlighted the crucial role of healthcare workers in case management, disease surveillance, policy development, and healthcare education and training. The ongoing pandemic demonstrates the importance of having an emergency response plan that accounts for the safety of frontline healthcare workers, including those working in critical care settings. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to explore Australian critical care nurses' knowledge, preparedness, and experiences of managing patients diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19. METHODS: An exploratory cross-sectional study of Australian critical care nurses was conducted between June and September 2020. An anonymised online survey was sent to Australian College of Critical Care Nurses' members to collect information about their knowledge, preparedness, and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise and report data. RESULTS: A total of 157 critical care nurses participated, with 138 fully complete surveys analysed. Most respondents reported 'good' to 'very good' level of knowledge about COVID-19 and obtained up-to-date COVID-19 information from international and local sources. Regarding managing patients with COVID-19, 82.3% felt sufficiently prepared at the time of data collection, and 93.4% had received specific education, training, or instruction. Most participants were involved in assessing (89.3%) and treating (92.4%) patients with COVID-19. Varying levels of concerns about SARS-CoV-2 infection were expressed by respondents, and 55.7% thought the pandemic had increased their workload. The most frequent concerns expressed by participants were a lack of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and fear of PPE shortage. CONCLUSIONS: While most nurses expressed sufficient preparedness for managing COVID-19 patients, specific education had been undertaken and experiential learning was evident. Fears of insufficient or lack of appropriate PPE made the response more difficult for nurses and the community. Preparedness and responsiveness are critical to successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases.

COVID-19 , Nurses , Australia , Clinical Competence , Critical Care , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Aust Crit Care ; 34(2): 146-154, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103716


AIM: The aim of the study was to determine levels of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms and factors associated with psychological burden amongst critical care healthcare workers in the early stages of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. METHODS: An anonymous Web-based survey distributed in April 2020. All healthcare workers employed in a critical care setting were eligible to participate. Invitations to the survey were distributed through Australian and New Zealand critical care societies and social media platforms. The primary outcome was the proportion of healthcare workers who reported moderate to extremely severe scores on the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). RESULTS: Of the 3770 complete responses, 3039 (80.6%) were from Australia. A total of 2871 respondents (76.2%) were women; the median age was 41 years. Nurses made up 2269 (60.2%) of respondents, with most (2029 [53.8%]) working in intensive care units. Overall, 813 (21.6%) respondents reported moderate to extremely severe depression, 1078 (28.6%) reported moderate to extremely severe anxiety, and 1057 (28.0%) reported moderate to extremely severe stress scores. Mean ± standard deviation values of DASS-21 depression, anxiety, and stress scores amongst woman vs men was as follows: 8.0 ± 8.2 vs 7.1 ± 8.2 (p = 0.003), 7.2 ± 7.5 vs 5.0 ± 6.7 (p < 0.001), and 14.4 ± 9.6 vs 12.5 ± 9.4 (p < 0.001), respectively. After adjusting for significant confounders, clinical concerns associated with higher DASS-21 scores included not being clinically prepared (ß = 4.2, p < 0.001), an inadequate workforce (ß = 2.4, p = 0.001), having to triage patients owing to lack of beds and/or equipment (ß = 2.6, p = 0.001), virus transmission to friends and family (ß = 2.1, p = 0.009), contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (ß = 2.8, p = 0.011), being responsible for other staff members (ß = 3.1, p < 0.001), and being asked to work in an area that was not in the respondents' expertise (ß = 5.7, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: In this survey of critical care healthcare workers, between 22 and 29% of respondents reported moderate to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, with women reporting higher scores than men. Although female gender appears to play a role, modifiable factors also contribute to psychological burden and should be studied further.

Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/therapy , Depression/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
J Nurs Scholarsh ; 52(5): 462-466, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831796