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Coping strategies adopted by Australian frontline health workers to address psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smallwood, Natasha; Karimi, Leila; Pascoe, Amy; Bismark, Marie; Putland, Mark; Johnson, Douglas; Dharmage, Shyamali C; Barson, Elizabeth; Atkin, Nicola; Long, Clare; Ng, Irene; Holland, Anne; Munro, Jane; Thevarajan, Irani; Moore, Cara; McGillion, Anthony; Willis, Karen.
  • Smallwood N; Department of Respiratory Medicine, The Alfred Hospital, 55 Commercial Road, Prahran, Victoria 3004, Australia; Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Central Clinical School, The Alfred Hospital, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia. Electronic address: Natash
  • Karimi L; School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, VIC 3083, Australia; School of Medicine and Healthcare Management, Caucasus University, Tbilisi, Georgia.
  • Pascoe A; Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Central Clinical School, The Alfred Hospital, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia.
  • Bismark M; Department of Psychiatry, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan St Parkville, Vic 3050, Australia; Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Putland M; Department of Emergency Services, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan St Parkville, Vic 3050, Australia; Department of Critical Care, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.
  • Johnson D; Departments of General Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia; Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Dharmage SC; Allergy and Lung Health Unit, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Barson E; Department of Allied Health, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Atkin N; Parkville Integrated Palliative Care Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria 3050, Australia; Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Long C; Department of Geriatric Medicine, Western Health, 160 Gordon St, Footscray, VIC 3011, Australia.
  • Ng I; Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia; Centre for Integrated Critical Care, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne, Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Holland A; Department of Physiotherapy, Alfred Health, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Munro J; Rheumatology Unit, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia; Arthritis and Rheumatology, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Thevarajan I; Department of Infectious Diseases, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • Moore C; Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
  • McGillion A; School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Australia; Royal Adelaide Hospital, University of South Australia, Australia.
  • Willis K; School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne, Vic 3083, Australia; Division of Critical Care and Investigative Services, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street, Parkville, Vic 3050, Australia.
Gen Hosp Psychiatry ; 72: 124-130, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364025
ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES:

The Australian COVID-19 Frontline Healthcare Workers Study investigated coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours, and their relationship to mental health symptoms experienced by Australian healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS:

Australian HCWs were invited to participate a nationwide, voluntary, anonymous, single time-point, online survey between 27th August and 23rd October 2020. Complete responses on demographics, home and work situation, and measures of health and psychological wellbeing were received from 7846 participants.

RESULTS:

The most commonly reported adaptive coping strategies were maintaining exercise (44.9%) and social connections (31.7%). Over a quarter of HCWs (26.3%) reported increased alcohol use which was associated with a history of poor mental health and worse personal relationships. Few used psychological wellbeing apps or sought professional help; those who did were more likely to be suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of mental illness. People living in Victoria, in regional areas, and those with children at home were significantly less likely to report adaptive coping strategies.

CONCLUSIONS:

Personal, social, and workplace predictors of coping strategies and help-seeking behaviour during the pandemic were identified. Use of maladaptive coping strategies and low rates of professional help-seeking indicate an urgent need to understand the effectiveness of, and the barriers and enablers of accessing, different coping strategies.
Subject(s)

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Adaptation, Psychological / Health Personnel / Pandemics / Psychological Distress / COVID-19 Type of study: Diagnostic study / Prognostic study / Qualitative research / Randomized controlled trials Limits: Adult / Female / Humans / Male / Middle aged / Young adult Country/Region as subject: Oceania Language: English Journal: Gen Hosp Psychiatry Year: 2021 Document Type: Article

Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Adaptation, Psychological / Health Personnel / Pandemics / Psychological Distress / COVID-19 Type of study: Diagnostic study / Prognostic study / Qualitative research / Randomized controlled trials Limits: Adult / Female / Humans / Male / Middle aged / Young adult Country/Region as subject: Oceania Language: English Journal: Gen Hosp Psychiatry Year: 2021 Document Type: Article