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1.
Diabetes Metab Syndr ; 16(1): 102361, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556980

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Vaccine hesitancy is an ongoing major challenge. We aimed to assess the uptake and hesitancy of the COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: A short online survey was posted between April 12 to July 31, 2021 targeted at health and social care workers (HCWs) across the globe. RESULTS: 275 from 37 countries responded. Most were hospital or primary care physicians or nurses, 59% women, aged 18-60 years, and 21% had chronic conditions with most prevalent being diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. We found that most HCWs (93%) had taken or willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While 7% were vaccine hesitant (mainly women aged 30-39 years), respondents main concerns was the safety or potential side effects. Vaccine willing respondents raised concerns of unequal access to the COVID-19 vaccination in some countries, and highlighted that the only solution to overcoming COVID-19 infections was the vaccine booster doses given annually and free mass vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that the majority of the frontline HCWs are willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Further promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine would reassure and persuade HCWs to become vaccinated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel , Social Workers , Adolescent , Adult , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/prevention & control , Culture , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Geography , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Participation/psychology , Patient Participation/statistics & numerical data , Personnel, Hospital/psychology , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Social Workers/psychology , Social Workers/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , /statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
2.
Soc Work Public Health ; 37(3): 224-232, 2022 04 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541458

ABSTRACT

The present study aims to plan the protocol for providing psychosocial support by social workers in Iranian healthcare centers and reaching consensus in terms of implementing and offering comprehensive service to individuals dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This qualitative study consists of four phases. The first phase, the literature review involved studying valid databases, while the second and third phases consisted of collecting data through the Focus Group Discussions with 23 specialists and experts in the field of social work and mental health. Having been designed, the protocol was then applied and assessed for two months in all the state health centers around Iran (633 hospitals). In the present study, Interventions used by the social workers were divided into 9 types: psychosocial assessment, counseling, training, working with the family, intervention in the crisis, intra- and extra-organizational support-seeking, referral and safe discharge. Interventions used by social workers were also divided based on the health center (psychosocial support for the target groups and bereavement intervention for the survivors) and the services offered in convalescent care facilities. This protocol leading social workers into the fields of bereavement interventions, inter-organizational interventions, working with families and working with the medical staff.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Iran , Pandemics , Psychosocial Intervention , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Workers/psychology
3.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0256454, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394544

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on the mental health and wellbeing of frontline health and social care workers. The need to support frontline staff has been recognised. However, there is to date little research specifically on how best to support the mental health needs of frontline workers, and none on their own experiences and views about what might be most helpful. AIMS: We set out to redress this research gap by qualitatively exploring UK frontline health and social care workers' own experiences and views of psychosocial support during the pandemic. METHOD: Frontline health and social care workers were recruited purposively through social media and by snowball sampling via healthcare colleagues. Workers who volunteered to take part in the study were interviewed remotely following a semi-structured interview guide. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed by the research team following the principles of Reflexive Thematic Analysis. RESULTS: We conducted 25 interviews with frontline workers from a variety of professional groups working in health and social care settings across the UK. Themes derived from our analysis showed that workers' experiences and views about psychosocial support were complex. Peer support was many workers' first line of support but could also be experienced as a burden. Workers were ambivalent about support shown by organisations, media and the public. Whilst workers valued psychological support services, there were many disparities in provision and barriers to access. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study show that frontline health and social care workers are likely to need a flexible system of support including peer, organisational and professional support. More research is needed to fully unpack the structural, systemic and individual barriers to accessing psychosocial support. Greater collaboration, consultation and co-production of support services and their evaluation is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/psychology , Psychosocial Support Systems , Qualitative Research , Social Workers/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Social Support
5.
Am J Orthopsychiatry ; 91(6): 714-723, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281675

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has required public social services departments to cope with an unexpected and unprecedented emergency situation. As community social workers work on the macrolevel and deal with entire communities in emergency situations, the present study investigated the challenges they face as well as the factors that promoted they are coping during the "age of COVID." Drawing on in-depth interviews with 20 managers of community social work departments in Israel, findings highlighted three main themes: (a) organizational politics, which impeded community social workers' work; (b) the mobilization of both professional community social work staff as well as civilians; and (c) the perception of the crisis as an opportunity. Findings pointed to the challenges, promotive factors, and perceptions of community social workers in public social services departments who have had to cope with the pandemic. We discuss these findings in light of the theoretical perspectives of "the politics of pandemic" pandemic, social support, and resilience. Implications for community practice are outlined. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/psychology , Social Workers/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care ; 17(2-3): 146-157, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276065

ABSTRACT

The rise of COVID-19 in March, 2020 led to an urgent and acute need for communication guidelines to help clinicians facing a novel disease, amidst a cacophony of voices and demands, find the words to use in the face of this public health emergency. We identified critical topics that arose at the interface of staff, patient and family to guide the structure and content of a guideline. Organized in an easy to read table, the guide was made available to a wide variety of websites, organizations and schools as a free PDF resource across the country and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Critical Illness/therapy , Palliative Care/methods , Social Workers/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Communication , Humans , Palliative Care/psychology , Patient Education as Topic/methods , Quality of Life/psychology
9.
J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care ; 17(2-3): 186-197, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196936

ABSTRACT

A phenomenon occurring early in the pandemic involving media-based recommendations of pulse oximeters, devices purported to detect a dangerous Covid-19 symptom, invites attention to effects of decision-making shortcuts, or cognitive heuristics, and associated cognitive biases or errors, on patient/caregiver healthcare decisions. Heuristics also affect palliative/medical social workers' recommendations to patients/caregivers. This article looks at availability, confirmation, affect, false consensus and framing biases, and suggestions for debiasing decision making. Implications for other healthcare decisions are considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Heuristics , Palliative Care/psychology , Quality of Life/psychology , Social Workers/psychology , Attitude to Death , Depression/psychology , Humans , Mental Health , Social Support
10.
J Psychosoc Oncol ; 39(3): 428-444, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196920

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work structure, daily care provided, personal lives, and practice models for pediatric oncology social workers (POSW). RESEARCH APPROACH: Cross-sectional online survey on APOSW professional listserv from 10/5/2020 to 11/20/2020. SAMPLE: 101 surveys were completed by POSW from 31 states and the District of Columbia. METHODS: Data were summarized descriptively and with semantic content analyses. FINDINGS: Surveys were completed by social workers from diverse work settings. Seventy-five percent of social workers were deemed "essential," and 45% reported working primarily from home. Most (56%) adopted a form of telehealth for patient care, although 71% did not receive telehealth training and 87% perceived lesser quality of care with telehealth. Nearly 80% of respondents reported not being able to provide optimum psychosocial care. Notable stressors on social work practice included worry about exposure to COVID-19, limited resources, lack of contact with and increased emotional needs of patients and families, managing patient and family concerns about COVID-19, and isolation from colleagues. Inequity and social justice issues were identified. Despite challenges, over 60% of POSW endorsed positive changes to their work life resulting from the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, POSW have adapted to a changing work environment, different modes of service provision, and stark health inequities to meet the needs of patients and families in a crisis. IMPLICATIONS FOR PSYCHOSOCIAL PROVIDERS: COVID-19 vastly impacted the personal and professional lives of POSW, warranting attentiveness to lessons learned and future directions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms/rehabilitation , Psychosocial Intervention/statistics & numerical data , Social Workers/psychology , Social Workers/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Teleworking/statistics & numerical data
11.
12.
J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care ; 17(2-3): 137-145, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172611

ABSTRACT

In the context of widespread loss, isolation, and grief due to COVID-19, palliative social workers came together in the fall of 2020 to form an international group named the World Hospice and Palliative Care Social Work Network (WHPCSW). This emerging global network is committed to amplifying the innovative work, nuanced skills, research, and education and training provided by palliative social workers across different settings around the world. This article highlights some of the novel interventions developed by social workers in response to the pandemic and describes this coalescing WHPCSW network along with information about its mission and membership.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Palliative Care/methods , Quality of Life/psychology , Social Workers/education , Attitude to Death , COVID-19/psychology , Humans , Palliative Care/psychology , Social Work , Social Workers/psychology
13.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248617, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154078

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Wildfires in California have become more deadly and destructive in recent years, and four of the ten most destructive fires occurred in 2017 and 2018. Through interviews with service providers, this article explores how these recent wildfires have impacted surrounding communities and the role various recovery resources have played in responding to the short- and long-term health and social needs of survivors. METHODS: Using a purposive sampling methodology, we interviewed 21 health and social service personnel who assisted in wildfire recovery efforts in California in 2017 and 2018. The study participants worked or volunteered in medical facilities, social services agencies and philanthropy/nonprofit organizations located in communities affected by wildfires. Participants were asked about three common, overarching themes that fire-impacted communities navigate post-disaster: health issues, social issues, and response and recovery resources. Inductive coding was used to identify common subthemes. RESULTS: The two most frequently discussed social issues during interviews were housing and employment access. Mental and emotional well-being and access to health resources were identified as being the most challenging health concerns that survivors face post-disaster. Participants also identified the following private and public recovery resources that survivors use to attempt to restabilize following the fire: community support, county agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA,) insurance companies and philanthropic organizations. However, participants noted that the cumulative impacts of these efforts still leave many of their patients and clients without the resources needed to restabilize emotionally, financially and physically. Finally, participants spoke about the community-wide, downstream impacts of wildfires, noting that "survivors" are not only those whose health is immediately compromised by the disaster. CONCLUSION: Given the worsening wildfire seasons in California, we must increase our understanding of both the scope of the health and social issues that survivors navigate following a disaster, as well as the effectiveness and sustainability of recovery resources available to survivors. We must also understand the "ripple effect" that wildfires have on surrounding communalities, impacting housing access, social services, and health care access. More research and support, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, is urgently needed to improve our ability to support the health and social needs of wildfire survivors in the future.


Subject(s)
Health Personnel/psychology , Social Workers/psychology , Wildfires , California , Emotions , Employment , Housing , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Mental Health , Social Support , Socioeconomic Factors
14.
J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care ; 17(2-3): 218-236, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135780

ABSTRACT

This manuscript illuminates the nuanced ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the pediatric palliative care social work role and clinical care in caring for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families throughout the country. The authors discuss memorable moments, logistical impacts, telehealth usage, decision-making experiences, end of life care, bereavement practices, specialized interventions, and self-care. The paper concludes with lessons learned and practical recommendations for the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Child Welfare/psychology , Palliative Care/psychology , Quality of Life/psychology , Social Workers/psychology , Attitude to Death , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Depression/psychology , Humans
15.
Soc Work Health Care ; 60(1): 8-29, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117682

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought widespread devastation upon children and families across the United States, widening existing health disparities and inequities that disproportionately affect communities of color. In health care settings specifically, social work is the key workforce tasked with responding to patient and family psychosocial needs, both of which have increased substantially since the emergence of COVID-19. There is a need to understand ways in which hospital social workers' roles, responsibilities, and integration within interprofessional teams have evolved in response to these challenges. In this qualitative study, focus groups were conducted with 55 social workers employed across multiple settings in a large, urban, pediatric hospital in Spring 2020. Thematic analyses revealed salient superordinate themes related to the pandemic's impact on social work practice and social workers themselves, institutional facilitators and impediments to effective social work and interprofessional practice, and social work perspectives on future pandemic recovery efforts. Within each theme, a number of interrelated subthemes emerged elucidating nuances of telehealth adoption in the context of remote work, the salience of social determinants of health, and the critical role of social work in social justice oriented pandemic preparedness and response efforts. Implications for interprofessional practice and the profession at large are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Social Work/organization & administration , Social Workers/psychology , Focus Groups , Group Processes , Humans , Interprofessional Relations , Occupational Health , Pandemics , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Professional Role , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety Management/organization & administration , Social Work/standards , Socioeconomic Factors , Telemedicine/organization & administration , United States/epidemiology
16.
J Psychosoc Oncol ; 39(3): 469-478, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091378

ABSTRACT

Background: Throughout history, the field of medical social work has been shaped by epidemics and pandemics. As COVID-19 rapidly overwhelmed the healthcare system in 2020, oncology departments found that space, staff, and funds were reallocated to address patient needs during the pandemic. Traditional outpatient services were required to operate with reduced resources, with special attention to additional measures to protect workers and patients from exposure to the virus. Little is known about how these changes affected the nature of the practice of oncology social work.Methods: We compared data on OSW interventions for three months (March-May) 2019 to the same period in 2020. Mount Sinai Downtown Cancer Center's Department of Social Work routinely collects data on services provided by social workers using a validated instrument. As NYC became the epicenter of the COVID-19 in March 2020, the comparison of these time periods creates a natural experiment to examine whether and how the presence of the virus impacted the services provided by OSWs.Findings: There was little difference in the number of encounters that took place between the two time periods (2186 encounters in 2019 and 2084 encounters in 2020); however, there were notable differences in the types of interventions. While interventions involving supportive counseling decreased in 2020, we identified a significant increase specific to bereavement counseling.Conclusion: The study shows a remarkable consistency in the volume and types of services provided by OSWs, in spite of the radical increase in stressors they experienced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings suggest that the OSWs did not allow these stressors to interfere with their work with patients. This study demonstrates how routine use of an instrument to measure OSW interventions can be used to examine services provided over time and to evaluate potential influences of external factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms/rehabilitation , Occupational Stress/psychology , Psychosocial Intervention , Social Work , Social Workers/psychology , Adult , Humans , Psychometrics/instrumentation , Psychosocial Intervention/standards , Psychosocial Intervention/statistics & numerical data , Social Work/standards , Social Work/statistics & numerical data
17.
BMJ Open ; 11(2): e047353, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072769

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore the psychosocial well-being of health and social care professionals working during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: This was a qualitative study deploying in-depth, individual interviews, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used for coding. PARTICIPANTS: This study involved 25 participants from a range of frontline professions in health and social care. SETTING: Interviews were conducted over the phone or video call, depending on participant preference. RESULTS: From the analysis, we identified 5 overarching themes: communication challenges, work-related stressors, support structures, personal growth and individual resilience. The participants expressed difficulties such as communication challenges and changing work conditions, but also positive factors such as increased team unity at work, and a greater reflection on what matters in life. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence on the support needs of health and social care professionals amid continued and future disruptions caused by the pandemic. It also elucidates some of the successful strategies (such as mindfulness, hobbies, restricting news intake, virtual socialising activities) deployed by health and social care professionals that can support their resilience and well-being and be used to guide future interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , Social Workers/psychology , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Middle Aged , Qualitative Research , United Kingdom/epidemiology
19.
Soc Work Health Care ; 60(1): 30-48, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069151

ABSTRACT

For social work practitioners in healthcare settings, self-care can be an integral tool to assuaging stressors associated with COVID-19. However, research that examines the impact of public health crises, such as COVID-19, is nominal, at best. This exploratory study investigated the impact of COVID-19 on the self-care practices of self-identified healthcare social workers (N = 2,460) in one southeastern state. Primary data were collected via an electronic survey and assessed via a retrospective pre/post design. Analyses compared practices before and after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Overall, data suggest that participants experienced significant pre/post decreases in self-care practices across multiple domains. As well, findings indicate that participants who identified as married, financially stable, and working non-remotely, and in good physical/mental health engaged in significantly more self-care practices than other participants, at post. This study underscores the need to foster supportive professional cultures that include developing self-care practice skills, particularly during large-scale crisis, such as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Self Care/psychology , Social Workers/psychology , Adult , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Female , Health Status , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Occupational Health , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(2)2021 Jan 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067739

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a global pandemic in early 2020. Due to the rapid spread of the virus and limited availability of effective treatments, health and social care systems worldwide quickly became overwhelmed. Such stressful circumstances are likely to have negative impacts on health and social care workers' wellbeing. The current study examined the relationship between coping strategies and wellbeing and quality of working life in nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social care workers and social workers who worked in health and social care in the UK during its first wave of COVID-19. Data were collected using an anonymous online survey (N = 3425), and regression analyses were used to examine the associations of coping strategies and demographic characteristics with staff wellbeing and quality of working life. The results showed that positive coping strategies, particularly active coping and help-seeking, were associated with higher wellbeing and better quality of working life. Negative coping strategies, such as avoidance, were risk factors for low wellbeing and worse quality of working life. The results point to the importance of organizational and management support during stressful times, which could include psycho-education and training about active coping and might take the form of workshops designed to equip staff with better coping skills.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/psychology , Quality of Life , Social Workers/psychology , Humans , Pandemics , Social Support , United Kingdom
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