Nurses working on the frontline suffered high levels of anxiety and depression during the first coronavirus wave, study finds
Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) found that nurses working with respiratory patients on the coronavirus frontline suffered anxiety and depression during the first wave.
The survey was carried out in May this year with 255 staff from hospitals across the UK and researchers concluded that ‘whilst the NHS has provided psychological support, these
programmes need to be reinforced so that staff are able to cope emotionally and work effectively’ during a second surge expected to hit hospitals hard this winter.
The study also found that some nurses working with respiratory patients during the pandemic have been struggling to support their families emotionally and financially.
Additionally, it found that younger nurses with less experience had higher levels of anxiety and depression and lower resilience levels.
The research was carried out in partnership with Southampton and Edge Hill universities.
Dr Nicola Roberts, Principal Investigator in the study, said: “This is an important study, nurses are the largest workforce and a crucial component of how we can deliver healthcare well during the pandemic."
She said that the evidence warrants “long-term nursing workforce adaptations” to support the mental health and well being of staff as a safeguard for future pandemics.
When asked about how they were managing to cope with work and home life, most of the respondents said they struggled to give emotional support to their families because of
exhaustion. One nurse wrote that her “tank feels empty” and another said “it’s relentless”.
Dr Roberts added: “The psychological support needs to be available in multiple formats which can be tailored to each individual. Long-term resilience training needs to be
developed and implemented for any future pandemics.”