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29 Nov 2021

Study finds almost half of nursing home staff experienced PTSD during the pandemic

Study reveals almost half of nursing home staff experienced PTSD during the pandemic

Study reveals almost half of nursing home staff experienced PTSD during the pandemic

According to a new study, 45% of nursing home staff displayed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the pandemic.

One in seven respondents reported they were thinking of ending their life over the previous week, and one in 11 reported planning to end their life.

The findings came from the COWORKER Nursing Home study that aimed to explore nursing home staff’s mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study was conducted by researchers from St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity College Dublin, the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, and Nursing Homes Ireland and was developed to investigate the mental health impact of the pandemic on nursing home staff.

390 nursing home staff were surveyed during the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the study revealed 45% of respondents reported moderate or severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 39% of respondents reported low mood.

Research Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, Declan McLoughlin said nursing homes have been disproportionately affected during the Covid-19 pandemic and have had to contend with high numbers of Covid-19-related deaths of residents.

"The pandemic has presented immense challenges for nursing homes, their staff, residents, and families, and yet, few studies to date have explored its specific impact on nursing home staff’s mental health. It is hoped that phase one of the study’s findings will highlight potential areas of concern for nursing home staff so that they can address this and seek support as required." he added.

The researchers plan to repeat the survey to see if these experiences remain following the rollout of Ireland’s vaccination programme.

More information on the second phase can be found here.

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