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1.
International Journal of Qualitative Methods ; : 1-11, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1759653

ABSTRACT

The impacts of healthcare professionals (HCPs) being research participants are often neglected. As professionals, they tend to be perceived as 'immune' to many negative effects of sharing their experiences. However, in the context of an ongoing global pandemic such as COVID-19, these assumptions can be clearly challenged. This article draws on researchers' experiences of conducting single and longitudinal qualitative interviews with HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe during 2020. Reflecting on the methodological and ethical implications of doing such research during a pandemic allows researchers to surface assumptions about and question categories of 'vulnerability' and 'sensitivity'. We explore these categories in relation to three issues we have identified: (i) Blurred boundaries in researcher-participant relationships;(ii) Interviews as spaces to process experiences;and (iii) Motivations to conduct and participate in research. We demonstrate that qualitative interviews during a pandemic are embedded in sense-making processes for both the interviewer and participant, and as such may play an important role in coping and resilience. We therefore argue for ethically active research that critically engages with the concepts of 'vulnerability' and 'sensitivity', and underpinning assumptions, in context over time throughout the research process for current and future research with HCPs and other groups beyond pandemic situations. We thus aim to prepare researchers for managing these potential facets during the research process. We conclude with practical implications for managing emerging ethical tensions, methodological challenges and the wide-ranging possibilities and responsibilities for research with HCPs, urging researchers to consider the issues in advance. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of International Journal of Qualitative Methods is the property of Sage Publications Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

2.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264906, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745315

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To identify the experiences and concerns of health workers (HWs), and how they changed, throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. METHODS: Longitudinal, qualitative study with HWs involved in patient management or delivery of care related to COVID-19 in general practice, emergency departments and hospitals. Participants were identified through snowballing. Semi-structured telephone or video interviews were conducted between February 2020 and February 2021, audio-recorded, summarised, and transcribed. Data were analysed longitudinally using framework and thematic analysis. RESULTS: We conducted 105 interviews with 14 participants and identified three phases corresponding with shifts in HWs' experiences and concerns. (1) Emergency and mobilisation phase (late winter-spring 2020), with significant rapid shifts in responsibilities, required skills, and training, and challenges in patient care. (2) Consolidation and preparation phase (summer-autumn 2020), involving gradual return to usual care and responsibilities, sense of professional development and improvement in care, and focus on learning and preparing for future. (3) Exhaustion and survival phase (autumn 2020-winter 2021), entailing return of changes in responsibilities, focus on balancing COVID-19 and non-COVID care (until becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases), and concerns about longer-term impacts of unceasing pressure on health services. Participants' perceptions of COVID-19 risk and patient/public attitudes changed throughout the year, and tiredness and weariness turned into exhaustion. CONCLUSIONS: Results showed a long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK HWs' experiences and concerns related to changes in their roles, provision of care, and personal wellbeing. Despite mobilisation in the emergency phase, and trying to learn from this, HWs' experiences seemed to be similar or worse in the second wave partly due to many COVID-19 cases. The findings highlight the importance of supporting HWs and strengthening system-level resilience (e.g., with resources, processes) to enable them to respond to current and future demands and emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Health Personnel/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Clinical Competence , Disease Management , Hospitals , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Qualitative Research , United Kingdom/epidemiology
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316540

ABSTRACT

Background: As COVID-19 death rates have risen and health-care systems have experienced increased demand, national testing strategies have come under scrutiny. Utilising qualitative interview data from a larger COVID-19 study, this paper provides insights into influences on and the enactment of national COVID-19 testing strategies for health care workers (HCWs) in English NHS settings during wave one of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-August 2020). We aim to inform COVID-19 learning and future pandemic diagnostic preparedness. Methods: A remote qualitative, semi-structured longitudinal interview method was employed with a purposive snowball sample of senior scientific advisors to the UK Government on COVID-19, and HCWs employed in NHS primary and secondary health care settings in England. 24 interviews from 13 participants were selected from the larger project dataset. Framework analysis was informed by the non-adoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, and sustainability of patient-facing health and care technologies implementation framework (NASSS) and by normalisation process theory (NPT). Results: Our account highlights tensions between the communication and implementation of national testing developments;scientific advisor and HCW perceptions about infectiousness;and uncertainties about the responsibility for testing and its implications at the local level. Conclusions: Consideration must be given to the implications of mass NHS staff testing, including the accuracy of information communicated to HCWs;how HCWs interpret, manage, and act on testing guidance;and the influence these have on health care organisations and services.

4.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0245182, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674002

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Working under pandemic conditions exposes health care workers (HCWs) to infection risk and psychological strain. A better understanding of HCWs' experiences of following local infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures during COVID-19 is urgently needed to inform strategies for protecting the psychical and psychological health of HCWs. The objective of this study was therefore to capture the perceptions of hospital HCWs on local IPC procedures and the impact on their emotional wellbeing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. METHODS: Participants were recruited in two sampling rounds of an international cross-sectional survey. Sampling took place between 31 March and 17 April 2020 via existing research networks and between 14 May and 31 August 2020 via online convenience sampling. Main outcome measures were behavioural determinants of HCWs' adherence to IPC guidelines and the WHO-5 Well-Being Index, a validated scale of 0-100 reflecting emotional wellbeing. The WHO-5 was interpreted as a score below or above 50 points, a cut-off score used in previous literature to screen for depression. RESULTS: 2289 HCWs from 40 countries in Europe participated. Mean age was 42 (±11) years, 66% were female, 47% and 39% were medical doctors and nurses, respectively. 74% (n = 1699) of HCWs were directly treating patients with COVID-19, of which 32% (n = 527) reported they were fearful of caring for these patients. HCWs reported high levels of concern about COVID-19 infection risk to themselves (71%) and their family (82%) as a result of their job. 40% of HCWs considered that getting infected with COVID-19 was not within their control. This feeling was more common among junior than senior HCWs (46% versus 38%, P value < .01). Sufficient COVID-19-specific IPC training, confidence in PPE use and institutional trust were positively associated with the feeling that becoming infected with COVID-19 was within their control. Female HCWs were more likely than males to report a WHO-5 score below 50 points (aOR 1.5 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-1.8). CONCLUSIONS: In Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a differential impact on those providing direct COVID-19 patient care, junior staff and women. Health facilities must be aware of these differential impacts, build trust and provide tailored support for this vital workforce during the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Guidelines as Topic/standards , Health Personnel/psychology , Hospitals/standards , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Patient Care/methods , Patient Care/standards
5.
Fam Pract ; 2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555944

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Primary care manages a significant proportion of healthcare in the United Kingdom and should be a key part of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response. AIM: To assess preparedness for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic by understanding GPs' perception of their ability to manage current and future service demand, set-up of triage processes, and training in Covid-19 infection prevention and control procedures. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional survey of practicing GPs in the United Kingdom, with 2 rounds of data collection early in the pandemic. METHODS: Online survey, scripted and hosted by medeConnect Healthcare, comprising 6 closed prompts on 7-point Likert scales, and an optional free-text component. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Free-text data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: One thousand two GPs completed each round; 51 GPs completed free-text responses in March, and 64 in April. Quantitative data showed greatest confidence in triage of Covid-19 patients, and GPs were more confident managing current than future Covid-19 demand. GPs' responses were more optimistic and aligned in April than March. Free-text data highlighted that GPs were concerned about lack of appropriate personal protective equipment and personal risk of Covid-19 infection in March, and unmet needs of non-Covid-19 patients in April. In both rounds, GPs expressed feeling overlooked by government and public health bodies. CONCLUSION: Guidance to support general practice clinicians to manage future waves of Covid-19 or other health emergencies must be tailored to general practice from the outset, to support clinicians to manage competing health demands, and mitigate impacts on primary care providers' wellbeing.


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed significant challenges for the health services in the United Kingdom and abroad. A Doctors Association UK poll published in early March 2020 found that only 1% of 800 GPs believed the NHS was well prepared for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We surveyed 1,002 GPs across the United Kingdom to gauge how well prepared they felt to cope with the challenges posed by Covid-19. We conducted surveys in March and April 2020, an important time early in the pandemic with rapid changes and uncertainty. We found that GPs were more confident about their ability to manage Covid-19 patients, and do so safely, in April. GPs were most confident that they would be able to triage Covid-19 patients but were concerned about future Covid-19 demand. GPs expressed frustration about a lack of personal protective equipment in March. In April, GPs' primary concern was that patients with other health concerns were not being seen. In both samples, GPs expressed feelings of being overlooked by the government. Primary care needs tailored guidance from as early as possible in a health crisis to support clinicians to manage the competing demands of responding to emergency situations, maintain usual care and their own wellbeing.

6.
Humanities & Social Sciences Communications ; 8(1), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1440505

ABSTRACT

In responding to the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have proposed and implemented documentation policies that confer varying levels of freedoms or restrictions (e.g., ability to travel) based on individuals’ infection status or potential immunity. Most discussions around immunity- or infection-based documentation policies have focused on scientific plausibility, economic benefit, and challenges relating to ethics and equity. As COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out, attention has turned to confirmation of immunity and how documentation such as vaccine certificates or immunity passports can be implemented. However, the contextual inequities and local variabilities interacting with COVID-19 related documentation policies hinder a one-size-fits-all approach. In this Comment, we argue that social science perspectives can and should provide additional insight into these issues, through a diverse range of current and historical examples. This would enable policymakers and researchers to better understand and mitigate current and longer-term differential impacts of COVID-19 immunity-based documentation policies in different contexts. Furthermore, social science research methods can uniquely provide feedback to inform adjustments to policy implementation in real-time and help to document how these policy measures are felt differently across communities, populations, and countries, potentially for years to come. This Comment, updated as of 15 August 2021, combines precedents established in historical disease outbreaks and current experiences with COVID-19 immunity-based documentation policies to highlight valuable lessons and an acute need for further social science research which should inform effective and context-appropriate future public health policy and action.

7.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1216, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As COVID-19 death rates have risen and health-care systems have experienced increased demand, national testing strategies have come under scrutiny. Utilising qualitative interview data from a larger COVID-19 study, this paper provides insights into influences on and the enactment of national COVID-19 testing strategies for health care workers (HCWs) in English NHS settings during wave one of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-August 2020). Through the findings we aim to inform learning about COVID-19 testing policies and practices; and to inform future pandemic diagnostic preparedness. METHODS: A remote qualitative, semi-structured longitudinal interview method was employed with a purposive snowball sample of senior scientific advisors to the UK Government on COVID-19, and HCWs employed in NHS primary and secondary health care settings in England. Twenty-four interviews from 13 participants were selected from the larger project dataset using a key term search, as not all of the transcripts contained references to testing. Framework analysis was informed by the non-adoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, and sustainability of patient-facing health and care technologies implementation framework (NASSS) and by normalisation process theory (NPT). RESULTS: Our account highlights tensions between the communication and implementation of national testing developments; scientific advisor and HCW perceptions about infectiousness; and uncertainties about the responsibility for testing and its implications at the local level. CONCLUSIONS: Consideration must be given to the implications of mass NHS staff testing, including the accuracy of information communicated to HCWs; how HCWs interpret, manage, and act on testing guidance; and the influence these have on health care organisations and services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , State Medicine , COVID-19 Testing , England , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
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