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1.
Frontiers in psychiatry ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1728114

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a still-unfolding series of novel, potentially traumatic moral and ethical challenges that place many healthcare workers at risk of developing moral injury. Moral injury is a type of psychological response that may arise when one transgresses or witnesses another transgress deeply held moral values, or when one feels that an individual or institution that has a duty to provide care has failed to do so. Despite knowledge of this widespread exposure, to date, empirical data are scarce as to how to prevent and, where necessary, treat COVID-19-related moral injury in healthcare workers. Given the relation between moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we point here to social and interpersonal factors as critical moderators of PTSD symptomology and consider how this knowledge may translate to interventions for COVID-19-related moral injury. Specifically, we first review alterations in social cognitive functioning observed among individuals with PTSD that may give rise to interpersonal difficulties. Drawing on Nietlisbach and Maercker's 2009 work on interpersonal factors relevant to survivors of trauma with PTSD, we then review the role of perceived social support, social acknowledgment and social exclusion in relation to potential areas of targeted intervention for COVID-19-related moral injury in healthcare workers. Finally, building on existing literature (e.g., Phoenix Australia—Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and the Canadian Centre of Excellence—PTSD, 2020) we conclude with individual and organizational considerations to bolster against the development of moral injury in healthcare workers during the pandemic.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320034

ABSTRACT

Background: The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionally affected different population groups. Veterans are more likely to have pre-existing mental health conditions compared to the general Canadian population, experience compounded stressors resulting from disruptions to familial, social, and occupational domains, and were faced with changes in healthcare delivery (e.g., telehealth). The objectives of this study are to assess (a) the mental health impact of COVID-19 and related life changes on the mental health of Veterans and (b) perceptions of and satisfaction with changes in healthcare treatments and delivery during the pandemic. Methods A total of 1139 Canadian Veterans were recruited to participate in an online survey. Participants completed questions pertaining to their mental health and well-being, lifestyle changes, and concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as experiences and satisfaction with healthcare treatments during the pandemic. Results Results showed that 55.9% of respondents reported worse mental health functioning compared to before the pandemic. Frequency of probable posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol use disorder, and suicidal ideation were 34.2%, 35.3%, 26.8%, 13.0%, and 22.0%, respectively. Between 39.0% and 53.0% of respondents attributed their symptoms as either directly related to or exacerbated by the pandemic. Approximately 18% of respondents reported using telehealth for mental health services during the pandemic, and among those, 73.0% indicated a choice to use telehealth even after the pandemic. Conclusions This study found that most Veterans experienced worsening mental health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of telehealth services was widely endorsed by mental health treatment-seeking Veterans who transitioned to virtual care during the pandemic. Our findings have important clinical and program administrator implications, emphasizing the need to reach out to support veterans, especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions and to enhance and maintain virtual care even post pandemic.

3.
European Journal of Psychotraumatology ; 13(1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1652233

ABSTRACT

Background The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionally affected different population groups. Veterans are more likely to have pre-existing mental health conditions compared to the general Canadian population, experience compounded stressors resulting from disruptions to familial, social, and occupational domains, and were faced with changes in health-care delivery (e.g. telehealth). The objectives of this study are to assess (a) the mental health impact of COVID-19 and related life changes on the well-being of Veterans and (b) perceptions of and satisfaction with changes in health-care treatments and delivery during the pandemic. Methods A total of 1136 Canadian Veterans participated in an online survey. Participants completed questions pertaining to their mental health and well-being, lifestyle changes, and concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as experiences and satisfaction with health-care treatments during the pandemic. Results Results showed that 55.9% of respondents reported worse mental health functioning compared to before the pandemic. The frequency of probable posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol use disorder, and suicidal ideation were 34.2%, 35.3%, 26.8%, 13.0%, and 22.0%, respectively. Between 38.6% and 53.1% of respondents attributed their symptoms as either directly related to or exacerbated by the pandemic. Approximately 18% of respondents reported using telehealth for mental health services during the pandemic, and among those, 72.8% indicated a choice to use telehealth even after the pandemic. Conclusions This study found that Veterans experienced worsening mental health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of telehealth services was widely endorsed by mental health treatment-seeking Veterans who transitioned to virtual care during the pandemic. Our findings have important clinical and programmeadministrator implications, emphasizing the need to reach out to support veterans, especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions and to enhance and maintain virtual care even post-pandemic. HIGHLIGHTS Over 50% of Veterans reported worse mental health compared to before the pandemic. Probable mental health conditions based on self-reports ranged from 13% to 35%. Nearly 1 in 5 Veterans surveyed reported using telehealth for mental health services during the pandemic.

4.
Eur J Psychotraumatol ; 13(1): 2012374, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651100

ABSTRACT

Background: The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionally affected different population groups. Veterans are more likely to have pre-existing mental health conditions compared to the general Canadian population, experience compounded stressors resulting from disruptions to familial, social, and occupational domains, and were faced with changes in health-care delivery (e.g. telehealth). The objectives of this study are to assess (a) the mental health impact of COVID-19 and related life changes on the well-being of Veterans and (b) perceptions of and satisfaction with changes in health-care treatments and delivery during the pandemic. Methods: A total of 1136 Canadian Veterans participated in an online survey. Participants completed questions pertaining to their mental health and well-being, lifestyle changes, and concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as experiences and satisfaction with health-care treatments during the pandemic. Results: Results showed that 55.9% of respondents reported worse mental health functioning compared to before the pandemic. The frequency of probable posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol use disorder, and suicidal ideation were 34.2%, 35.3%, 26.8%, 13.0%, and 22.0%, respectively. Between 38.6% and 53.1% of respondents attributed their symptoms as either directly related to or exacerbated by the pandemic. Approximately 18% of respondents reported using telehealth for mental health services during the pandemic, and among those, 72.8% indicated a choice to use telehealth even after the pandemic. Conclusions: This study found that Veterans experienced worsening mental health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of telehealth services was widely endorsed by mental health treatment-seeking Veterans who transitioned to virtual care during the pandemic. Our findings have important clinical and programmeadministrator implications, emphasizing the need to reach out to support veterans, especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions and to enhance and maintain virtual care even post-pandemic.


Antecedentes: Los impactos de la pandemia del COVID-19 han afectado de manera desproporcionada a diferentes grupos de la población. Los veteranos tienen más probabilidades de tener afecciones de salud mental preexistentes en comparación con la población canadiense en general, experimentar factores estresantes agravados como resultado de las interrupciones en los dominios familiares, sociales, y ocupacionales, y se enfrentan a cambios en la prestación de la atención médica (por ejemplo, telesalud). Los objetivos de este estudio son evaluar (a) el impacto en la salud mental del COVID-19 y los cambios de vida relacionados en el bienestar de los Veteranos y (b) las percepciones y la satisfacción con los cambios en los tratamientos y la entrega de la atención médica durante la pandemia.Métodos: Un total de 1136 veteranos canadienses participaron en una encuesta en línea. Los participantes completaron preguntas relacionadas con su salud mental y bienestar, cambios en el estilo de vida, e inquietudes relacionadas con la pandemia del COVID-19, así como experiencias y satisfacción con los tratamientos de atención médica durante la pandemia.Resultados: Los resultados mostraron que el 55,9% de los encuestados informaron un peor funcionamiento de la salud mental en comparación con antes de la pandemia. La frecuencia de probable trastorno de estrés postraumático, trastorno depresivo mayor, trastorno de ansiedad generalizada, trastorno por consumo de alcohol, e ideación suicida fue del 34,2%, 35,3%, 26,8%, 13,0% y 22,0%, respectivamente. Entre el 38,6% y el 53,1% de los encuestados atribuyeron sus síntomas como directamente relacionados con la pandemia o agravados por ella. Aproximadamente el 18% de los encuestados informó haber utilizado la telesalud para los servicios de salud mental durante la pandemia, y entre ellos, el 72,8% indicó que había optado por utilizar la telesalud incluso después de la pandemia.Conclusiones: Este estudio encontró que los Veteranos experimentaron un empeoramiento de la salud mental como resultado de la pandemia del COVID-19. El uso de los servicios de telesalud fue ampliamente respaldado por los Veteranos en busca de tratamiento de salud mental que hicieron la transición a la atención virtual durante la pandemia. Nuestros hallazgos tienen importantes implicaciones clínicas y para los administradores de programas, enfatizando la necesidad de ayudar a los veteranos, especialmente a aquellos con condiciones de salud mental preexistentes, y de mejorar y mantener la atención virtual incluso después de una pandemia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/psychology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/statistics & numerical data
5.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 11(1): e34984, 2022 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593349

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant changes to everyday life, including social distancing mandates, changes to health care, and a heightened risk of infection. Previous research has shown that Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veterans are at higher risk of developing mental and physical health conditions. Veterans and their families may face unique social challenges that can compound with pandemic-related disruptions to negatively impact well-being. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to longitudinally characterize the mental health of CAF veterans and spouses of CAF veterans throughout the pandemic and to understand the dynamic influences of pandemic-related stressors on psychological health over time. METHODS: We employed a prospective longitudinal panel design using an online data collection platform. Study participation was open to all CAF veterans and spouses of CAF veterans residing in Canada. Participants were asked to complete a comprehensive battery of assessments representing psychological well-being, chronic pain, health care access patterns, physical environment, employment, social integration, and adjustment to pandemic-related lifestyle changes. Follow-up assessments were conducted every 3 months over an 18-month period. This study was approved by the Western University Health Sciences and Lawson Health Research Institute Research Ethics Boards. RESULTS: Baseline data were collected between July 2020 and February 2021. There were 3 population segments that participated in the study: 1047 veterans, 366 spouses of veterans, and 125 veterans who are also spouses of veterans completed baseline data collection. As of November 2021, data collection is ongoing, with participants completing the 9- or 12-month follow-up surveys depending on their date of self-enrollment. Data collection across all time points will be complete in September 2022. CONCLUSIONS: This longitudinal survey is unique in its comprehensive assessment of domains relevant to veterans and spouses of veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from occupational, demographic, social, mental, and physical domains, to perceptions and experiences with health care treatments and access. The results of this study will be used to inform policy for veteran and veteran family support, and to best prepare for similar emergencies should they occur in the future. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/34984.

6.
Eur J Psychotraumatol ; 12(1): 1984667, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510837

ABSTRACT

Background: Research is urgently needed to understand health care workers' (HCWs') experiences of moral-ethical dilemmas encountered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and their associations with organizational perceptions and personal well-being. This research is important to prevent long-term moral and psychological distress and to ensure that workers can optimally provide health services. Objective: Evaluate associations between workplace experiences during COVID-19, moral distress, and the psychological well-being of Canadian HCWs. Method: A total of 1362 French- and English-speaking Canadian HCWs employed during the COVID-19 pandemic were recruited to participate in an online survey. Participants completed measures reflecting moral distress, perceptions of organizational response to the pandemic, burnout, and symptoms of psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results: Structural equation modelling showed that when organizational predictors were considered together, resource adequacy, positive work life impact, and ethical work environment negatively predicted severity of moral distress, whereas COVID-19 risk perception positively predicted severity of moral distress. Moral distress also significantly and positively predicted symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and burnout. Conclusions: Our findings highlight an urgent need for HCW organizations to implement strategies designed to prevent long-term moral and psychological distress within the workplace. Ensuring availability of adequate resources, reducing HCW risk of contracting COVID-19, providing organizational support regarding individual priorities, and upholding ethical considerations are crucial to reducing severity of moral distress in HCWs.


Antecedentes: Se necesita con urgencia investigaciones para comprender las experiencias de los dilemas éticos y morales que los trabajadores de la salud encontraron durante la pandemia de la COVID-19 y su asociación con las percepciones de la organización y el bienestar personal. Esta investigación es importante para prevenir la angustia moral y psicológica a largo plazo y para asegurar que los trabajadores de la salud puedan proveer de manera óptima los servicios de salud.Objetivo: Evaluar la asociación entre las experiencias en el lugar de trabajo durante la COVID-19, la angustia moral y el bienestar psicológico de los trabajadores de salud canadienses.Métodos: Se reclutó a un total de 1362 trabajadores de salud canadienses, que hablaban francés e inglés y que fueron contratados durante la pandemia de la COVID-19, para participar en un cuestionario en línea. Los participantes completaron mediciones que reflejaban la angustia moral, la percepción de la respuesta de la organización a la pandemia, el burnout y los síntomas de trastornos psicológicos, que incluían a la depresión, a la ansiedad y al trastorno de estrés postraumático (TEPT).Resultados: El modelo de ecuaciones estructurales mostró que cuando los predictores de la organización se consideraban en conjunto ­ los recursos adecuados, el impacto positivo en la vida laboral y un ambiente de trabajo ético ­, predijeron negativamente la gravedad de la angustia moral, mientras que la percepción del riesgo de contraer la COVID-19 predijo positivamente la gravedad de la angustia moral. La angustia moral también predijo de manera significativa y positiva los síntomas de la depresión, la ansiedad, el TEPT y el burnout.Conclusiones: Nuestros hallazgos resaltan la urgente necesidad de que las organizaciones de trabajadores de salud implementen estrategias diseñadas para prevenir la angustia moral y psicológica a largo plazo en el lugar de trabajo. El asegurar la disponibilidad de los recursos adecuados, el reducir el riesgo de que los trabajadores de salud contraigan la COVID-19, el proveer un soporte organizacional adecuado según las prioridades individuales y el respetar las consideraciones éticas son fundamentales para reducir la gravedad de la angustia moral en los trabajadores de salud.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Mental Health/trends , Morals , Psychological Distress , Workplace/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/psychology , Burnout, Professional/psychology , Canada , Depression/psychology , Female , Health Personnel/ethics , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Internet , Male , Middle Aged , Organizational Culture , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 10(9): e32663, 2021 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441065

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care workers (HCWs) have experienced several stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Structural stressors, including extended work hours, redeployment, and changes in organizational mandates, often intersect with interpersonal and personal stressors, such as caring for those with COVID-19 infections; worrying about infection of self, family, and loved ones; working despite shortages of personal protective equipment; and encountering various difficult moral-ethical dilemmas. OBJECTIVE: The paper describes the protocol for a longitudinal study seeking to capture the unique experiences, challenges, and changes faced by HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study seeks to explore the impact of COVID-19 on the mental well-being of HCWs with a particular focus on moral distress, perceptions of and satisfaction with delivery of care, and how changes in work structure are tolerated among HCWs providing clinical services. METHODS: A prospective longitudinal design is employed to assess HCWs' experiences across domains of mental health (depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and well-being), moral distress and moral reasoning, work-related changes and telehealth, organizational responses to COVID-19 concerns, and experiences with COVID-19 infections to self and to others. We recruited HCWs from across Canada through convenience snowball sampling to participate in either a short-form or long-form web-based survey at baseline. Respondents to the baseline survey are invited to complete a follow-up survey every 3 months, for a total of 18 months. RESULTS: A total of 1926 participants completed baseline surveys between June 26 and December 31, 2020, and 1859 participants provided their emails to contact them to participate in follow-up surveys. As of July 2021, data collection is ongoing, with participants nearing the 6- or 9-month follow-up periods depending on their initial time of self-enrollment. CONCLUSIONS: This protocol describes a study that will provide unique insights into the immediate and longitudinal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dimensions of mental health, moral distress, health care delivery, and workplace environment of HCWs. The feasibility and acceptability of implementing a short-form and long-form survey on participant engagement and data retention will also be discussed. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/32663.

8.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 10(9): e32663, 2021 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394692

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health care workers (HCWs) have experienced several stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Structural stressors, including extended work hours, redeployment, and changes in organizational mandates, often intersect with interpersonal and personal stressors, such as caring for those with COVID-19 infections; worrying about infection of self, family, and loved ones; working despite shortages of personal protective equipment; and encountering various difficult moral-ethical dilemmas. OBJECTIVE: The paper describes the protocol for a longitudinal study seeking to capture the unique experiences, challenges, and changes faced by HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study seeks to explore the impact of COVID-19 on the mental well-being of HCWs with a particular focus on moral distress, perceptions of and satisfaction with delivery of care, and how changes in work structure are tolerated among HCWs providing clinical services. METHODS: A prospective longitudinal design is employed to assess HCWs' experiences across domains of mental health (depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and well-being), moral distress and moral reasoning, work-related changes and telehealth, organizational responses to COVID-19 concerns, and experiences with COVID-19 infections to self and to others. We recruited HCWs from across Canada through convenience snowball sampling to participate in either a short-form or long-form web-based survey at baseline. Respondents to the baseline survey are invited to complete a follow-up survey every 3 months, for a total of 18 months. RESULTS: A total of 1926 participants completed baseline surveys between June 26 and December 31, 2020, and 1859 participants provided their emails to contact them to participate in follow-up surveys. As of July 2021, data collection is ongoing, with participants nearing the 6- or 9-month follow-up periods depending on their initial time of self-enrollment. CONCLUSIONS: This protocol describes a study that will provide unique insights into the immediate and longitudinal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dimensions of mental health, moral distress, health care delivery, and workplace environment of HCWs. The feasibility and acceptability of implementing a short-form and long-form survey on participant engagement and data retention will also be discussed. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/32663.

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