Exploring the stressors and coping experiences of healthcare workers in long-term care homes during COVID-19 crisis within Southern Alberta

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Adeosun, Adebayo Olumuyiwa
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
This study aimed to explore the psychological and other stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers (HCWs) in long-term care (LTC) homes in the Southern Alberta region in Canada. A qualitative descriptive research design was used to answer two research questions: (1) What are the psychological stressors of healthcare workers in LTC homes during the COVID-19 public health crisis in Southern Alberta, and (2) What are the coping mechanisms that healthcare workers in LTC homes find helpful in managing the identified stressors? Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data collected from semi-structured interviews with HCWs. The results revealed that the main pandemic stressors experienced by the HCWs were chronic understaffing, unpredictability and constant change, fear of risking being infected and the unknown, and disruption of work-life balance with an implication on the mental HCWs. The main coping mechanisms identified by the HCWs bordered on behavioural, social, and internal and spiritual coping responses. The findings from this study have implications for the development of effective measures for improving the mental health of HCWs in the LTC setting during a public health crisis and provide information for interventions that may promote the psychological wellbeing of HCWs. The study also offers policy and practice-based recommendations.
stressors , long term care , COVID-19 , Alberta , coping strategies , mental health , psychological stressors , understaffing , healthcare workers , qualitative description , depression , anxiety , policy , recommendations , unpredictability , fear , behavioral , social , spiritual , internal , infection , accepting reality , social constructivism , Southern Alberta , pandemic , coping mechanisms , thematic analysis