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18 January 2022

Coping under Covid – new paper in Epidemiologia

Well-being among the health and social care workforce between May 2020 and July 2021

An open journal

Jill Manthorpe, Professor of Social Work at King's and Director of the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, is co-author of a new paper examining the well-being of the workforce during the pandemic.

Drawing on three surveys of nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social care workers and social workers across the UK, conducted between May 2020 and July 2021, the paper, lead authored by Patricia Gillen of Ulster University, depicts a generally negative set of effects.

In particular, the survey results showed a decline in mental well-being and work-related quality of life. Burnout was found to have significantly increased during the pandemic for the respondents surveyed. And the researchers report: 'As the pandemic continued, our results indicate that more negative avoidant coping strategies (substance use, behavioural disengagement and self-blame) were being adopted by the [Health and Social Care] workforce and less use of more positive approach type strategies (active coping, positive reframing, acceptance, use of emotional support, use of instrumental support).'

The Health and Social Care Workforce Research Study, led by Paula McFadden (Ulster University), has conducted three online surveys and a series of focus groups. It has published three reports and this paper is the latest of five peer-reviewed journal articles from the study (all open access). A fourth survey is being undertaken and is seeking participants.

This publication

Gillen P, Neill RD, Manthorpe J, Mallett J, Schroder H, Nicholl P, Currie D, Moriarty J, Ravalier J, McGrory S, McFadden P. (2022) Decreasing Wellbeing and Increasing Use of Negative Coping Strategies: The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the UK Health and Social Care WorkforceEpidemiologia, 3(1):26-39. 

In this story

Jill Manthorpe

Professor Emerita of Social Work