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British Journal of Social Work ; 53(1):405-424, 2023.
Article in English | CINAHL | ID: covidwho-2241886


Covid-19 brought about drastic changes in day-to-day life and working practices, and had a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of the general population. Certain professional groups have also been particularly affected. This study sought to explore how levels of psychological distress and perceptions of workplace support amongst social work staff changed during the pandemic. We present the results from a series of surveys conducted in four local authorities (LAs) in England, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Social workers and other social care staff (n  = 62) were asked about their experiences of psychological distress, using the twelve-item General Health Questionnaire. Overall, we found the proportion of staff reporting elevated levels of psychological distress increased and, in line with previous studies involving social workers, was high relative to the general population. Yet, most staff also said they had high levels of support from managers and colleagues, whilst a small proportion reported an increased perception of workplace support during the pandemic, compared to before. We consider these findings in relation to Organisational Support Theory and reflect on the ability of LAs to provide effective support for social care staff.

BMC Med ; 19(1): 149, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1277942


BACKGROUND: Clinically vulnerable individuals have been advised to shield themselves during the COVID-19 epidemic. The objectives of this study were to investigate (1) the rate ratio of severe COVID-19 associated with eligibility for the shielding programme in Scotland across the first and second waves of the epidemic and (2) the relation of severe COVID-19 to transmission-related factors in those in shielding and the general population. METHODS: In a matched case-control design, all 178,578 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Scotland from 1 March 2020 to 18 February 2021 were matched for age, sex and primary care practice to 1,744,283 controls from the general population. This dataset (REACT-SCOT) was linked to the list of 212,702 individuals identified as eligible for shielding. Severe COVID-19 was defined as cases that entered critical care or were fatal. Rate ratios were estimated by conditional logistic regression. RESULTS: With those without risk conditions as reference category, the univariate rate ratio for severe COVID-19 was 3.21 (95% CI 3.01 to 3.41) in those with moderate risk conditions and 6.3 (95% CI 5.8 to 6.8) in those eligible for shielding. The highest rate was in solid organ transplant recipients: rate ratio 13.4 (95% CI 9.6 to 18.8). Risk of severe COVID-19 increased with the number of adults but decreased with the number of school-age children in the household. Severe COVID-19 was strongly associated with recent exposure to hospital (defined as 5 to 14 days before presentation date): rate ratio 12.3 (95% CI 11.5 to 13.2) overall. The population attributable risk fraction for recent exposure to hospital peaked at 50% in May 2020 and again at 65% in December 2020. CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness of shielding vulnerable individuals was limited by the inability to control transmission in hospital and from other adults in the household. Mitigating the impact of the epidemic requires control of nosocomial transmission.

COVID-19/transmission , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/prevention & control , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Critical Care , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Pregnancy , Primary Health Care , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology