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The impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being in critical care nurses – a longitudinal, qualitative study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-01, 13:07 authored by Nicola Credland, Martyn Griffin, Peter Hamilton, Oonagh Harness, Robert McMurray

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had both a psychological and physiological effect on the human race. For those working in health care, particularly in critical care, the pandemic has put unprecedented strain on staff. Witnessing suffering during crisis in an organizational setting can be a traumatic experience and critical care nurses often risked, not only their own lives, but their psychological well-being, so that those infected with the virus might have a better chance at survival.

Aims: The aim of this study was to explore the challenges to mental health and psychological well-being experienced by Critical Care Nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study design: A longitudinal, qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with 54 critical care nurses across 38 hospitals in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Four key themes were identified which represent the challenges faces by critical care nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lack of control, Psychological trauma, Unexpected leadership, Public-political betrayal.

Conclusion: While public-political praise may lead to a short-term lift in morale for front line workers; where it is not accompanied by practical support in terms of appropriate equipment, leadership, emotional support and renumeration it is likely to be damaging in the longer term.

Relevance to clinical practice: This study has provided a greater understanding of the factors which affected the well-being and mental health of critical care nurses during a global pandemic.

Funding

BACCN

History

Comments

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Credland N, Griffin M, Hamilton P, Harness O, McMurray R. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being in critical care nurses - a longitudinal, qualitative study. Nurs Crit Care. 2023 , which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12930 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

Published Citation

Credland N, Griffin M, Hamilton P, Harness O, McMurray R. The impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being in critical care nurses - a longitudinal, qualitative study. Nurs Crit Care. 2023

Publication Date

17 May 2023

PubMed ID

37198703

Department/Unit

  • Graduate School of Healthcare Management

Publisher

Wiley

Version

  • Accepted Version (Postprint)