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Healthcare workers use of psychological support resources during COVID-19; a mixed methods approach utilising pillar Integration analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-15, 08:18 authored by Helen L Richards, Joseph Eustace, Amanda O’ Dwyer, Andrew Wormald, Yvonne Curtin, Dónal FortuneDónal Fortune

Objectives We sought to examine healthcare workers (HCWs) utilisation of formal and informal psychological support resources in the workplace during the first and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. Methods A convergent mixed methods approach was undertaken. Four hundred and thirty HCWs in the Mid West and South of Ireland responded to an online survey in terms of their use of psychological support resources during Wave 1 (April/May 2020) of COVID-19. Thirty-nine HCWs undertook in depth interviews at Wave 3 (January/February 2021), and a further quantitative survey was distributed and completed by 278 HCWs at this time. Quantitative data arising at Wave 1 and Wave 3, were synthesised with Qualitative data collected at Wave 3. A Pillar Integration Process (PIP) was utilised in the analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data. Results Five pillars were identified from the integration of results. These were: a) the primacy of peer support, b) the importance of psychologically informed management, c) a need to develop the organisational well-being ethos, d) support for all HCWs, and e) HCWs ideas for developing the well-being path. These pillars encapsulated a strong emphasis on collegial support, an emphasis on the need to support managers, a questioning of the current supports provided within the healthcare organisations and critical reflections on what HCWs viewed as most helpful for their future support needs. Conclusions HCWs who utilised supportive resources indicated ‘in house’ supports, primarily collegial resources, were the most frequently used and perceived as most helpful. While formal psychological supports were important, the mechanism by which such psychological support is made available, through utilising peer support structures and moving towards psychologically informed supervisors and workplaces is likely to be more sustainable and perceived more positively by HCWs.



PLoS ONE 17(4), e0267458


Public Library of Science

Other Funding information

Irish Health Research Board COV19-2020-042

Sustainable development goals

  • (3) Good Health and Well-being

Department or School

  • Psychology

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