Home Business News First study to reveal impact of COVID-19 on NHS begins

First study to reveal impact of COVID-19 on NHS begins

by LLB Editor
5th May 20 12:51 pm

A nationwide study to investigate the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health workers in the NHS, care and nursing homes, as well as the private sector, has been launched by The University of Roehampton in collaboration with a number of NHS Trusts.

The research, the first of its kind in the UK, covers critical issues currently faced by healthcare workers at this time and how these affect their wellbeing and mental health, such as Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) availability, preparation for the pandemic, concerns about personal safety/risk, exposure to greater than normal risks and stressful experiences. Respondents are also asked about positive changes such as feeling more valued or motivated.

Participants can then also voluntarily opt-in to complete follow-on surveys which will be conducted in the coming months to understand the changing impact of COVID-19 on health worker’s mental health as the COVID outbreak evolves, and which factors predict worse or better coping

It is hoped that the findings will raise awareness of the extent of the burden on NHS and non-NHS health workers’ mental health caused by the COVID-19 crisis and address what the researchers believe is an extremely pressing public health problem that needs urgent investigation. Results from the survey will be made public over the coming weeks and months with the aim of informing and helping healthcare organisations understand the scale of the impact of the COVID crisis, and develop better means of support to whom and where it is needed – both now and for similar health crises in the future.

The project is being led by Dr James Gilleen from the University of Roehampton’s Department of Psychology and also includes a team of consultant psychiatrists, psychologists and data scientists across various research institutes including, Dr Montserrat Fusté (Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, NEFLT NHS Trust), Dr Lorena Valdearenas (Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, BEH NHS Trust), Dr Aida Santaolalla (Senior Data Scientist, King’s College London), and Dr Clara Salice (FY1 doctor, BARTS NHS Trust).

Dr James Gilleen, Department of Psychology, University of Roehampton, said: “This is a vital study which will reveal critical information about the experiences and pressures faced by key workers in our health service during the hugely challenging period we are experiencing. We must urgently act now to measure and understand the real driving forces contributing to elevated stress, anxiety and depression in health workers especially during health crises like COVID. Now more than ever it’s critical that we understand how to mitigate the burden on mental health so we can ensure healthcare staff are better supported and better prepared. We urge all healthcare workers to take part in the study if they can.”

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