Extremely concerning levels of psychological distress are reported in results from a longitudinal study of the UK nursing and midwifery workforce during COVID-19. The findings could help how staff are supported in healthcare services now and in future.
The results from surveys of the UK nursing and midwifery workforce taken at three time points during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 have found concerning levels of psychological distress, including experiences consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress and anxiety in respondents.
A combination of pre-existing workforce challenges, rapid changes to professional life and ways of working, high patient mortality rates, risk of illness to both the individual and their family, and the way in which healthcare organisations responded to the pandemic may have important and demonstrable psychological impacts on the UK nursing and midwifery workforce.
The results, published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies provide important information to help identify potential factors associated with psychological distress and inform workforce support planning for future pandemics for healthcare services in the UK and across the globe.