Decreasing wellbeing and increasing use of negative coping strategies: the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK health and social care workforce

Gillen, P, Neill, R.D, Manthorpe, J, Mallett, J, Schroder, H, Nicholl, P, Currie, D, Moriarty, J, Ravalier, J.M, McGrory, S and McFadden, P (2022) 'Decreasing wellbeing and increasing use of negative coping strategies: the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK health and social care workforce.' Epidemiologia, 3 (1). pp. 26-39. ISSN 2673-3986

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia3010003

Abstract

Many health and social care (HSC) professionals have faced overwhelming pressures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As the current situation is constantly changing, and some restrictions across the UK countries such as social distancing and mask wearing in this period (May–July 2021) began to ease, it is important to examine how this workforce has been affected and how employers can help rebuild their services. The aim of this study was to compare cross-sectional data collected from the HSC workforce in the UK at three time points during the COVID-19 pan-demic: Phase 1 (May–July 2020), Phase 2 (November 2020–January 2021) and Phase 3 (May–July 2021). Respondents surveyed across the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) con-sisted of nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social care workers and social workers. Wellbeing and work-related quality of life significantly declined from Phase 1 to 3 (p < 0.001); however, no significant difference occurred between Phases 2 and 3 (p > 0.05). Respondents in-creasingly used negative coping strategies between Phase 1 (May–July 2020) and Phase 3 (May–July 2021), suggesting that the HSC workforce has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. These results have the potential to inform HSC employers’ policies, practices, and interventions as the workforce continues to respond to the COVID-19 virus and its legacy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: COVID-19, healthcare workforce, social care workforce, social work, United Kingdom, coping, wellbeing, quality of working life, survey
Divisions: School of Sciences
Research Centres and Groups: Psychology Research Centre for Health and Cognition
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia3010003
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 13:00
Last Modified: 17 May 2022 16:32
URI / Page ID: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14496
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