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BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 949, 2022 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962837


BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemic led to increased work-related strain and psychosocial burden in nurses worldwide, resulting in high prevalences of mental health problems. Nurses in long-term care facilities seem to be especially affected by the pandemic. Nevertheless, there are few findings indicating possible positive changes for health care workers. Therefore, we investigated which psychosocial burdens and potential positive aspects nurses working in long-term care facilities experience during the Covid-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods study among nurses and nursing assistants working in nursing homes in Germany. The survey contained the third German version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ III). Using Welch's t-tests, we compared the COPSOQ results of our sample against a pre-pandemic reference group of geriatric nurses from Germany. Additionally, we conducted semi-structured interviews with geriatric nurses with a special focus on psychosocial stress, to reach a deeper understanding of their experiences on work-related changes and burdens during the pandemic. Data were analysed using thematic coding (Braun and Clarke). RESULTS: Our survey sample (n = 177) differed significantly from the pre-pandemic reference group in 14 out of 31 COPSOQ scales. Almost all of these differences indicated negative changes. Our sample scored significantly worse regarding the scales 'quantitative demands', 'hiding emotions', 'work-privacy conflicts', 'role conflicts', 'quality of leadership', 'support at work', 'recognition', 'physical demands', 'intention to leave profession', 'burnout', 'presenteeism' and 'inability to relax'. The interviews (n = 15) revealed six main themes related to nurses' psychosocial stress: 'overall working conditions', 'concern for residents', 'management of relatives', 'inability to provide terminal care', 'tensions between being infected and infecting others' and 'technicisation of care'. 'Enhanced community cohesion' (interviews), 'meaning of work' and 'quantity of social relations' (COPSOQ III) were identified as positive effects of the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Results clearly illustrate an aggravation of geriatric nurses' situation and psychosocial burden and only few positive changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Pre-existing hardships seem to have further deteriorated and new stressors added to nurses' strain. The perceived erosion of care, due to an overemphasis of the technical in relation to the social and emotional dimensions of care, seems to be especially burdensome to geriatric nurses.

COVID-19 , Nurses , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workload/psychology
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 42, 2021 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169949


BACKGROUND: Recent studies have shown a decrease of admissions to accident and emergency (A&E) departments after the local outbreaks of COVID-19. However, differential trends of admission counts, for example according to diagnosis, are less well understood. This information is crucial to inform targeted intervention. Therefore, we aimed to compare admission counts in German A&E departments before and after 12th march in 2020 with 2019 according to demographic factors and diagnosis groups. METHODS: Routine data of all admissions between 02.12.2019-30.06.2020 and 01.12.2018-30.06.2019 was available from six hospitals in five cities from north-western, eastern, south-eastern, and south-western Germany. We defined 10 diagnosis groups using ICD-10 codes: mental disorders due to use of alcohol (MDA), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cholelithiasis or cholecystitis, back pain, fractures of the forearm, and fractures of the femur. We calculated rate ratios comparing different periods in 12.03.2020-30.06.2020 with 12.03.2019-30.06.2019. RESULTS: Forty-one thousand three hundred fifty-three cases were admitted between 12.03.2020-30.06.2020 and 51,030 cases between 12.03.2019-30.06.2019. Admission counts prior to 12.03. were equal in 2020 and 2019. In the period after 12.03., the decrease of admissions in 2020 compared to 2019 was largest between 26.03. and 08.04. (- 30%, 95% CI - 33% to - 27%). When analysing the entire period 12.03.-30.06., the decrease of admissions was heterogeneous among hospitals, and larger among people aged 0-17 years compared to older age groups. In the first 8 weeks after 12.03., admission counts of all diagnoses except femur fractures and pneumonia declined. Admissions with pneumonia increased in this early period. Between 07.05. and 30.6.2020, we noted that admissions with AMI (+ 13%, 95% CI - 3% to + 32%) and cholelithiasis or cholecystitis (+ 20%, 95% CI + 1% to + 44%) were higher than in 2019. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest differential trends of admission counts according to age, location, and diagnosis. An initial decrease of admissions with MDA, AMI, stroke or TIA, heart failure, COPD, cholelithiasis or cholecystitis, and back pain imply delays of emergency care in Germany. Finally, our study suggests a delayed increase of admissions with AMI and cholelithiasis or cholecystitis.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Acute Disease , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult