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1.
Can J Psychiatry ; : 7067437221111372, 2022 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938172

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been concerns about the mental health of health care workers (HCW). Although numerous studies have investigated the level of distress among HCW, few studies have explored programs to improve their mental well-being. In this paper, we describe the implementation and evaluation of a program to support the mental health of HCW at University Health Network (UHN), Canada's largest healthcare network. METHODS: Using a quality improvement approach, we conducted a needs assessment and then created and evaluated a modified stepped-care model to address HCW mental health during the pandemic. This included: online resources focused on psychoeducation and self-management, access to online support and psychotherapeutic groups, and self-referral for individual care from a psychologist or psychiatrist. We used ongoing mixed-methods evaluation, combining quantitative and qualitative analysis, to improve program quality. RESULTS: The program is ongoing, running continuously throughout the pandemic. We present data up to November 30, 2021. There were over 12,000 hits to the UHN's COVID mental health intranet web page, which included self-management resources and information on group support. One hundred and sixty-six people self-referred for individual psychological or psychiatric care. The mean wait time from referral to initial appointment was 5.4 days, with an average of seven appointments for each service user. The majority had moderate to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety at referral, with over 20% expressing thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Post-care user feedback, collected through self-report surveys and semistructured interviews, indicated that the program is effective and valued. CONCLUSIONS: Development of a high-quality internal mental health support for HCW program is feasible, effective, and highly valued. By using early and frequent feedback from multiple perspectives and stakeholders to address demand and implement changes responsively, the program was adjusted to meet HCW mental health needs as the pandemic evolved.

2.
Health Expect ; 24(3): 978-990, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153493

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Waiting for procedures delayed by COVID-19 may cause anxiety and related adverse consequences. OBJECTIVE: To synthesize research on the mental health impact of waiting and patient-centred mitigation strategies that could be applied in the COVID-19 context. METHODS: Using a scoping review approach, we searched 9 databases for studies on waiting lists and mental health and reported study characteristics, impacts and intervention attributes and outcomes. RESULTS: We included 51 studies that focussed on organ transplant (60.8%), surgery (21.6%) or cancer management (13.7%). Most patients and caregivers reported anxiety, depression and poor quality of life, which deteriorated with increasing wait time. The impact of waiting on mental health was greater among women and new immigrants, and those of younger age, lower socio-economic status, or with less-positive coping ability. Six studies evaluated educational strategies to develop coping skills: 2 reduced depression (2 did not), 1 reduced anxiety (2 did not) and 2 improved quality of life (2 did not). In contrast, patients desired acknowledgement of concerns, peer support, and periodic communication about wait-list position, prioritization criteria and anticipated procedure date. CONCLUSIONS: Findings revealed patient-centred strategies to alleviate the mental health impact of waiting for procedures. Ongoing research should explore how to optimize the impact of those strategies for diverse patients and caregivers, particularly in the COVID-19 context. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: Six patients and four caregivers waiting for COVID-19-delayed procedures helped to establish eligibility criteria, plan data extraction and review a draft and final report.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Caregivers/psychology , Pandemics , Patient-Centered Care , Waiting Lists , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Mental Health , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Palliat Med ; 24(10): 1489-1496, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091273

ABSTRACT

Objective: To better identify, quantify, and understand the current stressors and protective factors reported by Canadian medical assistance in dying (MAiD) assessors and providers to inform policy, education, and supports. Methods: E-survey of MAiD stressors (n = 33) and protective factors (n = 27); resilience measurement and comments relating to practice involving physicians and nurse practitioners who provide MAiD services and belong to the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers or a francophone equivalent. The survey was conducted, while Parliament was considering changes to MAiD eligibility criteria, which occurred during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Results: In total, there were 131 respondents (response rate 35.8%). Two possible changes to future eligibility (mental disorders as the sole reason for MAiD and mature minors) were highly scored as were extra clinical load and patients' family conflict over MAiD. Twenty percent of respondents considered stopping MAiD work. The CD Resilience Scale-2 mean score was 6.90. Highly scored protective factors included compassionate care, relief of suffering, patient autonomy, patient gratitude, feelings of honor, privilege, and professionally satisfying work. Discussion: The identified stressors and reasons for considering stopping MAiD work indicate needs for policy, education, and supports to be optimized or developed. Respondents showed high resilience and highly scored protective factors, which should be optimized. This survey should be repeated in countries where MAiD is legal to determine stressors and protective factors in MAiD practice, stressors addressed, and protective factors enhanced where feasible in the local context for optimal care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide, Assisted , Canada , Humans , Medical Assistance , Pandemics , Protective Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
Child Abuse Negl ; 116(Pt 2): 104743, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792530

ABSTRACT

Evidence indicates that healthcare and social service providers (HSSPs) receive inadequate education related to recognizing and responding to child maltreatment. This is despite the fact HSSPs are identified as an important factor in the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of this childhood exposure. The need for online education for HSSPs' is highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and will continue to be relevant afterward. The objective of this commentary is to provide an overview of: (a) educational interventions for HSSPs' related to recognizing and responding to child maltreatment; (b) the development of VEGA (Violence, Evidence, Guidance, Action), which is an online platform of educational resources to support HSSPs to recognize and respond to child maltreatment; and (c) the RISE (Researching the Impact of Service provider Education) project, which is an ongoing multi-province evaluation of VEGA in Canada. It is important to consider ongoing ways that HSSPs can receive education related to recognizing and responding to child maltreatment. The virtual implementation of VEGA and the RISE Project provide a necessary opportunity to continue to increase the capacity of Canada's HSSPs to adequately and safely recognize and respond to child maltreatment, while simultaneously advancing education scholarship for the field of child maltreatment and which will have relevance for the COVID-19 context and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Child Health Services , Health Personnel/economics , Social Work , Adult , Canada , Child , Education, Distance , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Work/education , Violence
5.
World Psychiatry ; 19(3): 406-407, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-757861
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