First national study to reveal impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of NHS and non-NHS health workers
Press Release Updated: May 06, 2020 06:00 EDT
London, UK, May 5, 2020
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.
The survey, which takes approximately 15 minutes, invites all UK health-workers from both the NHS and private sector to take part anonymously by accessing this link. 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.”
The study is currently unfunded and to help the research team continue with their work which includes costs through research, data management and advertising, donations are welcomed at this link.
Further information about the survey and how to take part can be found at: https://www.covidastudy.com/
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*NHS Trusts included: NEFLT NHS Trust, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust, Whittington Health NHS Trust, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, BARTS NHS Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, West London NHS Trust. A large number of other Trusts will be shortly providing support.
For further information, please contact:
Mark Knight/ Chiara Barreca/ Matt Jones
Tel: +44 (0)20 3697 4200
Notes to editors
University of Roehampton
The University of Roehampton, London, is an established international higher-education institution providing a high-quality learning and research experience with the aim of developing personal growth and driving social change.
The University has a proud and distinguished history dating back to the 1840s and it was one of the first institutions in the UK to admit women to its colleges of higher education. This tradition of commitment to equality continues to be part of the ethos of the University, which has one of the most diverse and thriving communities of students in the UK; its 9,000 student body includes international students from over 146 countries.
Today the University is renowned for its broad range of expertise across teacher training, business, social sciences, the arts and humanities, as well as human and life sciences, with world leading and internationally recognised research in these fields.