Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

COVID-Well Study: Qualitative Evaluation of Supported Wellbeing Centres and Psychological First Aid for Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Version 1 : Received: 19 February 2021 / Approved: 22 February 2021 / Online: 22 February 2021 (11:37:12 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Blake, H.; Gupta, A.; Javed, M.; Wood, B.; Knowles, S.; Coyne, E.; Cooper, J. COVID-Well Study: Qualitative Evaluation of Supported Wellbeing Centres and Psychological First Aid for Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3626. Blake, H.; Gupta, A.; Javed, M.; Wood, B.; Knowles, S.; Coyne, E.; Cooper, J. COVID-Well Study: Qualitative Evaluation of Supported Wellbeing Centres and Psychological First Aid for Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3626.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3626
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18073626

Abstract

Supported wellbeing centres were set up in UK hospital trusts as an early intervention aimed at mitigating the psychological impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers. These provided high quality rest spaces with peer-to-peer psychological support provided by National Health Service (NHS) staff volunteers called ‘wellbeing buddies’, trained in psychological first aid. The aim of the study was to explore the views of centre visitors and operational staff towards this COVID-19 workforce wellbeing provision. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twenty-four (20F, 4M) employees from an acute hospital trust in the UK. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed, data were handled and analysed using thematic analysis. Interviews generated 3 over-arching themes, and 13 sub-themes covering ‘exposure and job roles’, ‘emotional impacts of COVID-19 and ‘the wellbeing centres’. Supported wellbeing centres were viewed as critical for the wellbeing of hospital employees during the first surge of COVID-19 in the UK. Wellbeing initiatives require managerial advocacy and must be inclusive. Job-related barriers to work breaks and accessing staff wellbeing provisions should be addressed. High quality rest spaces and access to peer-to-peer support are seen to benefit individuals, teams, organisations and care quality. Training NHS staff in psychological first aid is a useful approach to supporting the wellbeing of the NHS workforce during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; pandemic; psychological wellbeing; workforce; peer-to-peer support; psychological first aid; wellbeing

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