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1.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 10(7): 537-556, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231879

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused immediate and far-reaching disruption to society, the economy, and health-care services. We synthesised evidence on the effect of the pandemic on mental health and mental health care in high-income European countries. We included 177 longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional studies comparing prevalence or incidence of mental health problems, mental health symptom severity in people with pre-existing mental health conditions, or mental health service use before versus during the pandemic, or between different timepoints of the pandemic. We found that epidemiological studies reported higher prevalence of some mental health problems during the pandemic compared with before it, but that in most cases this increase reduced over time. Conversely, studies of health records showed reduced incidence of new diagnoses at the start of the pandemic, which further declined during 2020. Mental health service use also declined at the onset of the pandemic but increased later in 2020 and through 2021, although rates of use did not return to pre-pandemic levels for some services. We found mixed patterns of effects of the pandemic on mental health and social outcome for adults already living with mental health conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Europe/epidemiology
2.
Int J Soc Psychiatry ; 69(4): 928-941, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Internationally, hospital-based short-stay crisis units have been introduced to provide a safe space for stabilisation and further assessment for those in psychiatric crisis. The units typically aim to reduce inpatient admissions and psychiatric presentations to emergency departments. AIMS: To assess changes to service use following a service user's first visit to a unit, characterise the population accessing these units and examine equality of access to the units. METHODS: A prospective cohort study design (ISCTRN registered; 53431343) compared service use for the 9 months preceding and following a first visit to a short-stay crisis unit at three cities and one rural area in England. Included individuals first visited a unit in the 6 months between 01/September/2020 and 28/February/2021. RESULTS: The prospective cohort included 1189 individuals aged 36 years on average, significantly younger (by 5-13 years) than the population of local service users (<.001). Seventy percent were White British and most were without a psychiatric diagnosis (55%-82% across sites). The emergency department provided the largest single source of referrals to the unit (42%), followed by the Crisis and Home Treatment Team (20%). The use of most mental health services, including all types of admission and community mental health services was increased post discharge. Social-distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic were in place for slightly over 50% of the follow-up period. Comparison to a pre-COVID cohort of 934 individuals suggested that the pandemic had no effect on the majority of service use variables. CONCLUSIONS: Short-stay crisis units are typically accessed by a young population, including those who previously were unknown to mental health services, who proceed to access a broader range of mental health services following discharge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Services, Psychiatric , Mental Disorders , Humans , Prospective Studies , Cohort Studies , Aftercare , Cities , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Disorders/psychology , England/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation
3.
PLoS One ; 18(3): e0280946, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252281

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Loneliness is associated with many mental health conditions, as both a potential causal and an exacerbating factor. Richer evidence about how people with mental health problems experience loneliness, and about what makes it more or less severe, is needed to underpin research on strategies to help address loneliness. METHODS: Our aim was to explore experiences of loneliness, as well as what helps address it, among a diverse sample of adults living with mental health problems in the UK. We recruited purposively via online networks and community organisations, with most interviews conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 59 consenting participants face-to-face, by video call or telephone. Researchers with relevant lived experience were involved at all stages, including design, data collection, analysis and writing up of results. FINDINGS: Analysis led to identification of four overarching themes: 1. What the word "lonely" meant to participants, 2. Connections between loneliness and mental health, 3. Contributory factors to continuing loneliness, 4. Ways of reducing loneliness. Central aspects of loneliness were lack of meaningful connections with others and lack of a sense of belonging to valued groups and communities. Some drivers of loneliness, such as losses and transitions, were universal, but specific links were also made between living with mental health problems and being lonely. These included direct effects of mental health symptoms, the need to withdraw to cope with mental health problems, and impacts of stigma and poverty. CONCLUSIONS: The multiplicity of contributors to loneliness that we identified, and of potential strategies for reducing it, suggest that a variety of approaches are relevant to reducing loneliness among people with mental health problems, including peer support and supported self-help, psychological and social interventions, and strategies to facilitate change at community and societal levels. The views and experiences of adults living with mental health problems are a rich source for understanding why loneliness is frequent in this context and what may address it. Co-produced approaches to developing and testing approaches to loneliness interventions can draw on this experiential knowledge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , Humans , Adult , Loneliness , Pandemics , Qualitative Research
4.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 78, 2023 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2227619

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a rapid shift from traditional face-to-face care provision towards delivering mental health care remotely through telecommunications, often referred to as telemental health care. However, the manner and extent of telemental health implementation have varied considerably across settings and areas, and substantial barriers are encountered. There is, therefore, a need to identify what works best for service users and staff and establish the key mechanisms for efficient integration into routine care. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify investigations of pre-planned strategies reported in the literature intended to achieve or improve effective and sustained implementation of telemental health approaches (including video calls, telephone calls, text messaging platforms or a combination of any of these approaches with face-to-face care), and to evaluate how different strategies influence implementation outcomes. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted, with five databases searched for any relevant literature published between January 2010 and July 2021. Studies were eligible if they took place in specialist mental health services and focused on pre-planned strategies to achieve or improve the delivery of mental health care through remote communication between mental health professionals or between mental health professionals and service users, family members, unpaid carers, or peer supporters. All included studies were quality-assessed. Data were synthesised using the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) compilation of implementation strategies and the taxonomy of implementation outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 14 studies were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria from a total of 14,294 records of which 338 were assessed at full text. All ERIC implementation strategies were used by at least one study, the most commonly reported being 'Train and educate stakeholders'. All studies reported using a combination of several implementation strategies, with the mean number of strategies used per study of 3.5 (range 2-6), many of which were reported to result in an improvement in implementation over time. Few studies specifically investigated a single implementation strategy and its associated outcomes, making conclusions regarding the most beneficial strategy difficult to draw. CONCLUSIONS: Using a combination of implementation strategies appears to be a helpful method of supporting the implementation of telemental health. Further research is needed to test the impact of specific implementation strategies on implementation outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health , Health Personnel
5.
BMC Psychiatry ; 22(1): 776, 2022 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2162325

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: One of the many challenges faced by mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic was how to deliver care during lockdown. In community and crisis services, this often meant rapidly adopting or expanding the use of telemental health technologies, including phone and video calls. The aim of this study is to explore variations in use and report staff views of such technologies during the early stages of the pandemic. The primary analysis compared rates of use between professions, demographic groups, genders, regions, and crisis and community services. METHODS: We used data from an online survey conducted by the Mental Health Policy Research Unit in Spring 2020 regarding the impact of the pandemic on mental healthcare in the United Kingdom. We included quantitative data from all professional groups working in community or crisis services providing care to working age adults, including general and specialist services. Our outcome of interest was the percentage of clients whom clinicians primarily interacted with via videocall. We also collected demographics and professional characteristics such as the type of mental health service respondents worked in. In addition, we explored respondents' views and experiences of telemental health as a medium for providing care. RESULTS: 978 participants were included in the primary analysis (834 provided outcome data for community services, 193 for crisis services). In community services, virtually all staff reported stopping some or all face-to-face appointments following the onset of the pandemic, with a large majority using video or phone call appointments where possible instead. Telemental health use was higher in community than in crisis services, and amongst professionals who mainly provided psychotherapy or peer support than in other groups. There was also evidence of use being lower in regions in Northern England, Scotland, and Wales than elsewhere. There was no evidence of an association with staff gender, age, or ethnicity. Staff were generally positive about telemental health and intended to make more use of technologies following the pandemic. However, significant barriers to its use were also reported, often involving skills and available infrastructure. CONCLUSIONS: Despite its rapid implementation, telemental health was viewed positively by clinicians who saw it as an effective alternative to face-to-face appointments in some contexts, including during the pandemic. However, adoption of the technology also has the potential to exacerbate existing or create new inequalities without effective management of training and infrastructure needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control
6.
Interact J Med Res ; 11(2): e38239, 2022 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054778

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemental health (delivering mental health care via video calls, telephone calls, or SMS text messages) is becoming increasingly widespread. Telemental health appears to be useful and effective in providing care to some service users in some settings, especially during an emergency restricting face-to-face contact, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, important limitations have been reported, and telemental health implementation risks the reinforcement of pre-existing inequalities in service provision. If it is to be widely incorporated into routine care, a clear understanding is needed of when and for whom it is an acceptable and effective approach and when face-to-face care is needed. OBJECTIVE: This rapid realist review aims to develop a theory about which telemental health approaches work (or do not work), for whom, in which contexts, and through what mechanisms. METHODS: Rapid realist reviewing involves synthesizing relevant evidence and stakeholder expertise to allow timely development of context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configurations in areas where evidence is urgently needed to inform policy and practice. The CMO configurations encapsulate theories about what works for whom and by what mechanisms. Sources included eligible papers from 2 previous systematic reviews conducted by our team on telemental health; an updated search using the strategy from these reviews; a call for relevant evidence, including "gray literature," to the public and key experts; and website searches of relevant voluntary and statutory organizations. CMO configurations formulated from these sources were iteratively refined, including through discussions with an expert reference group, including researchers with relevant lived experience and frontline clinicians, and consultation with experts focused on three priority groups: children and young people, users of inpatient and crisis care services, and digitally excluded groups. RESULTS: A total of 108 scientific and gray literature sources were included. From our initial CMO configurations, we derived 30 overarching CMO configurations within four domains: connecting effectively; flexibility and personalization; safety, privacy, and confidentiality; and therapeutic quality and relationship. Reports and stakeholder input emphasized the importance of personal choice, privacy and safety, and therapeutic relationships in telemental health care. The review also identified particular service users likely to be disadvantaged by telemental health implementation and a need to ensure that face-to-face care of equivalent timeliness remains available. Mechanisms underlying the successful and unsuccessful application of telemental health are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Service user choice, privacy and safety, the ability to connect effectively, and fostering strong therapeutic relationships need to be prioritized in delivering telemental health care. Guidelines and strategies coproduced with service users and frontline staff are needed to optimize telemental health implementation in real-world settings. TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO); CRD42021260910; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42021260910.

7.
BJPsych Open ; 8(4): e144, 2022 Jul 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962922

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Internationally, an increasing proportion of emergency department visits are mental health related. Concurrently, psychiatric wards are often occupied above capacity. Healthcare providers have introduced short-stay, hospital-based crisis units offering a therapeutic space for stabilisation, assessment and appropriate referral. Research lags behind roll-out, and a review of the evidence is urgently needed to inform policy and further introduction of similar units. AIMS: This systematic review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of short-stay, hospital-based mental health crisis units. METHOD: We searched EMBASE, Medline, CINAHL and PsycINFO up to March 2021. All designs incorporating a control or comparison group were eligible for inclusion, and all effect estimates with a comparison group were extracted and combined meta-analytically where appropriate. We assessed study risk of bias with Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies - of Interventions and Risk of Bias in Randomized Trials. RESULTS: Data from twelve studies across six countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, UK and USA) and 67 505 participants were included. Data indicated that units delivered benefits on many outcomes. Units could reduce psychiatric holds (42% after intervention compared with 49.8% before intervention; difference = 7.8%; P < 0.0001) and increase out-patient follow-up care (χ2 = 37.42, d.f. = 1; P < 0.001). Meta-analysis indicated a significant reduction in length of emergency department stay (by 164.24 min; 95% CI -261.24 to -67.23 min; P < 0.001) and number of in-patient admissions (odds ratio 0.55, 95% CI 0.43-0.68; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Short-stay mental health crisis units are effective for reducing emergency department wait times and in-patient admissions. Further research should investigate the impact of units on patient experience, and clinical and social outcomes.

8.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; 57(6): 1291-1303, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1826393

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We sought to understand how the experiences of people in the UK with pre-existing mental health conditions had developed during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: In September-October 2020, we interviewed adults with mental health conditions pre-dating the pandemic, whom we had previously interviewed 3 months earlier. Participants had been recruited through online advertising and voluntary sector community organisations. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted by telephone or video-conference by researchers with lived experience of mental health difficulties, and, following principles of thematic analysis, were analysed to explore changes over time in people's experience of the pandemic. RESULTS: We interviewed 44 people, achieving diversity of demographic characteristics (73% female, 54% White British, aged 18-75) and a range of mental health conditions and service use among our sample. Three overarching themes were derived from interviews. The first theme "spectrum of adaptation" describes how participants reacted to reduced access to formal and informal support through personal coping responses or seeking new sources of help, with varying degrees of success. The second theme describes "accumulating pressures" from pandemic-related anxieties and sustained disruption to social contact and support, and to mental health treatment. The third theme "feeling overlooked" reflects participants' feeling of people with mental health conditions being ignored during the pandemic by policy-makers at all levels, which was compounded for people from ethnic minority communities or with physical health problems. CONCLUSION: In line with previous research, our study highlights the need to support marginalised groups who are at risk of increased inequalities, and to maintain crucial mental and physical healthcare and social care for people with existing mental health conditions, notwithstanding challenges of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Ethnicity , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e31746, 2021 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496847

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in 2020, mental health services had to rapidly shift from face-to-face models of care to delivering the majority of treatments remotely (by video or phone call or occasionally messaging) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in several challenges for staff and patients, but also in benefits such as convenience or increased access for people with impaired mobility or in rural areas. There is a need to understand the extent and impacts of telemental health implementation, and barriers and facilitators to its effective and acceptable use. This is relevant both to future emergency adoption of telemental health and to debates on its future use in routine mental health care. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the adoption and impacts of telemental health approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, and facilitators and barriers to optimal implementation. METHODS: Four databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Web of Science) were searched for primary research relating to remote working, mental health care, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Preprint servers were also searched. Results of studies were synthesized using framework synthesis. RESULTS: A total of 77 papers met our inclusion criteria. In most studies, the majority of contacts could be transferred to a remote form during the pandemic, and good acceptability to service users and clinicians tended to be reported, at least where the alternative to remote contacts was interrupting care. However, a range of impediments to dealing optimal care by this means were also identified. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of telemental health allowed some continuing support to the majority of service users during the COVID-19 pandemic and has value in an emergency situation. However, not all service users can be reached by this means, and better evidence is now needed on long-term impacts on therapeutic relationships and quality of care, and on impacts on groups at risk of digital exclusion and how to mitigate these. TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews CRD42021211025; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42021211025.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257270, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The prominence of telemental health, including providing care by video call and telephone, has greatly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are clear variations in uptake and acceptability, and concerns that digital exclusion may exacerbate previous inequalities in access to good quality care. Greater understanding is needed of how service users experience telemental health, and what determines whether they engage and find it acceptable. METHODS: We conducted a collaborative framework analysis of data from semi-structured interviews with a sample of people already experiencing mental health problems prior to the pandemic. Data relevant to participants' experiences and views regarding telemental health during the pandemic were identified and extracted. Data collection and analysis used a participatory, coproduction approach where researchers with relevant lived experience, contributed to all stages of data collection, analysis and interpretation of findings alongside clinical and academic researchers. FINDINGS: The experiences and preferences regarding telemental health care of the forty-four participants were dynamic and varied across time and settings, as well as between individuals. Participants' preferences were shaped by reasons for contacting services, their relationship with care providers, and both parties' access to technology and their individual preferences. While face-to-face care tended to be the preferred option, participants identified benefits of remote care including making care more accessible for some populations and improved efficiency for functional appointments such as prescription reviews. Participants highlighted important challenges related to safety and privacy in online settings, and gave examples of good remote care strategies they had experienced, including services scheduling regular phone calls and developing guidelines about how to access remote care tools. DISCUSSION: Participants in our study have highlighted advantages of telemental health care, as well as significant limitations that risk hindering mental health support and exacerbate inequalities in access to services. Some of these limitations are seen as potentially removable, for example through staff training or better digital access for staff or service users. Others indicate a need to maintain traditional face-to-face contact at least for some appointments. There is a clear need for care to be flexible and individualised to service user circumstances and preferences. Further research is needed on ways of minimising digital exclusion and of supporting staff in making effective and collaborative use of relevant technologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Mental Health/standards , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quality of Health Care/standards , Quality of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/methods , Young Adult
11.
The Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7):e16, 2021.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1340933

ABSTRACT

Reports an error in "How mental health care should change as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic" by Carmen Moreno, Til Wykes, Silvana Galderisi, Merete Nordentoft, Nicolas Crossley, Nev Jones, Mary Cannon, Christoph U. Correll, Louise Byrne, Sarah Carr, Eric Y. H. Chen, Philip Gorwood, Sonia Johnson, Hilkka Karkkainen, John H. Krystal, Jimmy Lee, Jeffrey Lieberman, Carlos Lopez-Jaramillo, Miia Mannikko, Michael R. Phillips, Hiroyuki Uchida, Eduard Vieta, Antonio Vita and Celso Arango (The Lancet Psychiatry, 2020[Sep], Vol 7[9], 813-824). In the original article, the word Scandinavia has been corrected to Switzerland in relation to service users becoming more common in guiding mental health services. This correction has been made to the online version. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2020-64057-025). The unpredictability and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic;the associated lockdowns, physical distancing, and other containment strategies;and the resulting economic breakdown could increase the risk of mental health problems and exacerbate health inequalities. Preliminary findings suggest adverse mental health effects in previously healthy people and especially in people with pre-existing mental health disorders. Despite the heterogeneity of worldwide health systems, efforts have been made to adapt the delivery of mental health care to the demands of COVID-19. Mental health concerns have been addressed via the public mental health response and by adapting mental health services, mostly focusing on infection control, modifying access to diagnosis and treatment, ensuring continuity of care for mental health service users, and paying attention to new cases of mental ill health and populations at high risk of mental health problems. Sustainable adaptations of delivery systems for mental health care should be developed by experts, clinicians, and service users, and should be specifically designed to mitigate disparities in health-care provision. Thorough and continuous assessment of health and service-use outcomes in mental health clinical practice will be crucial for defining which practices should be further developed and which discontinued. For this Position Paper, an international group of clinicians, mental health experts, and users of mental health services has come together to reflect on the challenges for mental health that COVID-19 poses. The interconnectedness of the world made society vulnerable to this infection, but it also provides the infrastructure to address previous system failings by disseminating good practices that can result in sustained, efficient, and equitable delivery of mental health-care delivery. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic could be an opportunity to improve mental health services. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

12.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(7): e26492, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318345

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemental health care has been rapidly adopted for maintaining services during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a substantial interest is now being devoted in its future role. Service planning and policy making for recovery from the pandemic and beyond should draw on both COVID-19 experiences and the substantial research evidence accumulated before this pandemic. OBJECTIVE: We aim to conduct an umbrella review of systematic reviews available on the literature and evidence-based guidance on telemental health, including both qualitative and quantitative literature. METHODS: Three databases were searched between January 2010 and August 2020 for systematic reviews meeting the predefined criteria. The retrieved reviews were independently screened, and those meeting the inclusion criteria were synthesized and assessed for risk of bias. Narrative synthesis was used to report these findings. RESULTS: In total, 19 systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. A total of 15 reviews examined clinical effectiveness, 8 reported on the aspects of telemental health implementation, 10 reported on acceptability to service users and clinicians, 2 reported on cost-effectiveness, and 1 reported on guidance. Most reviews were assessed to be of low quality. The findings suggested that video-based communication could be as effective and acceptable as face-to-face formats, at least in the short term. Evidence on the extent of digital exclusion and how it can be overcome and that on some significant contexts, such as children and young people's services and inpatient settings, was found to be lacking. CONCLUSIONS: This umbrella review suggests that telemental health has the potential to be an effective and acceptable form of service delivery. However, we found limited evidence on the impact of its large-scale implementation across catchment areas. Combining previous evidence and COVID-19 experiences may allow realistic planning for the future implementation of telemental health.


Subject(s)
Mental Health Services , Telemedicine , COVID-19 , Humans , Systematic Reviews as Topic
13.
JMIR Ment Health ; 8(6): e25742, 2021 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290173

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Analyzing Twitter posts enables rapid access to how issues and experiences are socially shared and constructed among communities of health service users and providers, in ways that traditional qualitative methods may not. OBJECTIVE: To enrich the understanding of mental health crisis care in the United Kingdom, this study explores views on crisis resolution teams (CRTs) expressed on Twitter. We aim to identify the similarities and differences among views expressed on Twitter compared with interviews and focus groups. METHODS: We used Twitter's advanced search function to retrieve public tweets on CRTs. A thematic analysis was conducted on 500 randomly selected tweets. The principles of refutational synthesis were applied to compare themes with those identified in a multicenter qualitative interview study. RESULTS: The most popular hashtag identified was #CrisisTeamFail, where posts were principally related to poor quality of care and access, particularly for people given a personality disorder diagnosis. Posts about CRTs giving unhelpful self-management advice were common, as were tweets about resource strains on mental health services. This was not identified in the research interviews. Although each source yielded unique themes, there were some overlaps with themes identified via interviews and focus groups, including the importance of rapid access to care. Views expressed on Twitter were generally more critical than those obtained via face-to-face methods. CONCLUSIONS: Traditional qualitative studies may underrepresent the views of more critical stakeholders by collecting data from participants accessed via mental health services. Research on social media content can complement traditional or face-to-face methods and ensure that a broad spectrum of viewpoints can inform service development and policy.

15.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; 56(8): 1447-1457, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118213

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Research is beginning to quantify the impact of COVID-19 on people with pre-existing mental health conditions. Our paper addresses a lack of in-depth qualitative research exploring their experiences and perceptions of how life has changed at this time. METHODS: We used qualitative interviews (N = 49) to explore experiences of the pandemic for people with pre-existing mental health conditions. In a participatory, coproduced approach, researchers with lived experiences of mental health conditions conducted interviews and analysed data as part of a multi-disciplinary research team. RESULTS: Existing mental health difficulties were exacerbated for many people. People experienced specific psychological impacts of the pandemic, struggles with social connectedness, and inadequate access to mental health services, while some found new ways to cope and connect to the community. New remote ways to access mental health care, including digital solutions, provided continuity of care for some but presented substantial barriers for others. People from black and ethnic minority (BAME) communities experienced heightened anxiety, stigma and racism associated with the pandemic, further impacting their mental health. CONCLUSION: There is a need for evidence-based solutions to achieve accessible and effective mental health care in response to the pandemic, especially remote approaches to care. Further research should explore the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on people with pre-existing mental health conditions. Particular attention should be paid to understanding inequalities of impact on mental health, especially for people from BAME communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Ethnicity , Humans , Mental Health , Minority Groups , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
16.
J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs ; 28(2): 126-137, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091029

ABSTRACT

WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been research considering the impact on medical healthcare professionals and the mental health needs of the general population. However, limited focus has been placed on mental health services or mental health staff providing care in the community and in hospitals. While nurses make up the largest section of the mental health workforce in the UK, the impact that this pandemic has had on their work has been largely ignored. WHAT THE PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: This paper provides a unique insight into the experiences and impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health nurses across a range of community and inpatient settings to understand what has changed in their work and the care they can and do provide during this crisis. This includes exploring how services have changed, the move to remote working, the impact of the protective equipment crisis on nurses and the difficult working conditions facing those in inpatient settings where there is minimal guidance provided. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: By understanding the impact the pandemic has had on mental health nursing care, we can understand the gaps in guidance that exist, the challenges being faced and the impact the crisis has had on care for mental health service users. By doing so, we can plan for the ongoing nature of this pandemic and the aftermath that the crisis may leave for our service users and workforce alike. ABSTRACT: Introduction While evidence has emerged concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the general population and the challenges facing health services, much less is known regarding how the pandemic has directly affected the delivery of mental health nursing care. Aim This paper aimed to explore how COVID-19 has affected the ability of mental health nurses to deliver care in community and inpatient mental health services in the UK. Method We investigated staff reports regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental healthcare and mental health service users in the UK, using a mixed-methods online survey. A total of 897 nurses across a range of inpatient and community settings participated. Discussion Key themes within the data explore the following: new ways of working; remote working; risks of infection/infection control challenges; and the impact on service users. Targeted guidelines are required to support mental health nurses providing care and support during a pandemic to people in severe mental distress, often in unsuitable environments. Implications for Practice Service developments need to occur alongside tailored guidance and support for staff welfare supported by clear leadership. These findings identify areas requiring attention and investment to prepare for future crises and the consequences of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Mental Health Services , Nurses/psychology , Psychiatric Nursing/methods , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom , Young Adult
17.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; 56(1): 25-37, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-734116

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has potential to disrupt and burden the mental health care system, and to magnify inequalities experienced by mental health service users. METHODS: We investigated staff reports regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in its early weeks on mental health care and mental health service users in the UK using a mixed methods online survey. Recruitment channels included professional associations and networks, charities, and social media. Quantitative findings were reported with descriptive statistics, and content analysis conducted for qualitative data. RESULTS: 2,180 staff from a range of sectors, professions, and specialties participated. Immediate infection control concerns were highly salient for inpatient staff, new ways of working for community staff. Multiple rapid adaptations and innovations in response to the crisis were described, especially remote working. This was cautiously welcomed but found successful in only some clinical situations. Staff had specific concerns about many groups of service users, including people whose conditions are exacerbated by pandemic anxieties and social disruptions; people experiencing loneliness, domestic abuse and family conflict; those unable to understand and follow social distancing requirements; and those who cannot engage with remote care. CONCLUSION: This overview of staff concerns and experiences in the early COVID-19 pandemic suggests directions for further research and service development: we suggest that how to combine infection control and a therapeutic environment in hospital, and how to achieve effective and targeted tele-health implementation in the community, should be priorities. The limitations of our convenience sample must be noted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
18.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; 56(1): 13-24, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-716264

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has many potential impacts on people with mental health conditions and on mental health care, including direct consequences of infection, effects of infection control measures and subsequent societal changes. We aimed to map early impacts of the pandemic on people with pre-existing mental health conditions and services they use, and to identify individual and service-level strategies adopted to manage these. METHODS: We searched for relevant material in the public domain published before 30 April 2020, including papers in scientific and professional journals, published first person accounts, media articles, and publications by governments, charities and professional associations. Search languages were English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Relevant content was retrieved and summarised via a rapid qualitative framework synthesis approach. RESULTS: We found 872 eligible sources from 28 countries. Most documented observations and experiences rather than reporting research data. We found many reports of deteriorations in symptoms, and of impacts of loneliness and social isolation and of lack of access to services and resources, but sometimes also of resilience, effective self-management and peer support. Immediate service challenges related to controlling infection, especially in inpatient and residential settings, and establishing remote working, especially in the community. We summarise reports of swiftly implemented adaptations and innovations, but also of pressing ethical challenges and concerns for the future. CONCLUSION: Our analysis captures the range of stakeholder perspectives and experiences publicly reported in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries. We identify potential foci for service planning and research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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