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Impact on mental health care and on mental health service users of the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed methods survey of UK mental health care staff

Johnson, S., Dalton-Locke, C., Vera San Juan, N., Foye, U., Oram, S., Papamichail, A., Landau, S., Rowan Olive, R., Jeynes, T., Shah, P., Sheridan Rains, L., Lloyd-Evans, B., Carr, S., Killaspy, H., Gillard, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-9686-2232, Simpson, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-3286-9846, Bell, A., Bentivegna, F., Botham, J., Edbrooke-Childs, J., Goldsmith, L., Grunwald, L., Harju-Seppanen, J., Hatch, S., Henderson, C., Howrad, L., Lane, R., Ledden, S., Leveron, M., Lomani, J., Lyons, N., McCrone, P., Ntephe, C. U., Ocloo, J. E., Osborn, D., Pilling, S., Poursanidou, K., Scott, H. R., Steare, T., Stuart, R., Tomlin, A., Turner, K. and Tzouvara, V. (2020). Impact on mental health care and on mental health service users of the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed methods survey of UK mental health care staff. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, doi: 10.1007/s00127-020-01927-4

Abstract

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic has potential to disrupt and burden the mental health care system, and to magnify inequalities experienced by mental health service users. METHODS: We investigated staff reports regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in its early weeks on mental health care and mental health service users in the UK using a mixed methods online survey. Recruitment channels included professional associations and networks, charities, and social media. Quantitative findings were reported with descriptive statistics, and content analysis conducted for qualitative data. RESULTS: 2,180 staff from a range of sectors, professions, and specialties participated. Immediate infection control concerns were highly salient for inpatient staff, new ways of working for community staff. Multiple rapid adaptations and innovations in response to the crisis were described, especially remote working. This was cautiously welcomed but found successful in only some clinical situations. Staff had specific concerns about many groups of service users, including people whose conditions are exacerbated by pandemic anxieties and social disruptions; people experiencing loneliness, domestic abuse and family conflict; those unable to understand and follow social distancing requirements; and those who cannot engage with remote care. CONCLUSION: This overview of staff concerns and experiences in the early COVID-19 pandemic suggests directions for further research and service development: we suggest that how to combine infection control and a therapeutic environment in hospital, and how to achieve effective and targeted tele-health implementation in the community, should be priorities. The limitations of our convenience sample must be noted.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Nursing
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 15:00
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/24897
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