COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing Survey: longitudinal survey of psychological well-being among health and social care staff in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic

Julie-Ann Jordan, Ciaran Shannon, Dympna Browne, Emma Carroll, Jennifer Maguire, Keith Kerrigan, Sinead Hannan, Thomas McCarthy, Mark A. Tully, Ciaran Mulholland, Kevin F. W. Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Throughout the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, health and social care workers have faced unprecedented professional demands, all of which are likely to have placed considerable strain on their psychological well-being.

Aims
To measure the national prevalence of mental health symptoms within healthcare staff, and identify individual and organisational predictors of well-being.

Method
The COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing Survey is a longitudinal online survey of psychological well-being among health and social care staff in Northern Ireland. The survey included four time points separated by 3-month intervals; time 1 (November 2020; n = 3834) and time 2 (February 2021; n = 2898) results are presented here. At time 2, 84% of respondents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The survey included four validated psychological well-being questionnaires (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and insomnia), as well as demographic and organisational measures.

Results
At time 1 and 2, a high proportion of staff reported moderate-to-severe symptoms of depression (30–36%), anxiety (26–27%), post-traumatic stress (30–32%) and insomnia (27–28%); overall, significance tests and effect size data suggested psychological well-being was generally stable between November 2020 and February 2021 for health and social care staff. Multiple linear regression models indicated that perceptions of less effective communication within their organisation predicted greater levels of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and insomnia.

Conclusions
This study highlights the need to offer psychological support to all health and social care staff, and to communicate with staff regularly, frequently and clearly regarding COVID-19 to help protect staff psychological well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere159
Number of pages6
JournalBJPsych Open
Volume7
Issue number5
Early online date31 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorders
  • depressive disorders
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • sleep disorders
  • community mental health teams

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