The impact of providing end-of-life care during a pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of health and social care staff: Systematic review and meta-synthesis

Porter, Bryony, Zile, Amy, Peryer, Guy, Farquhar, Morag and Sanderson, Kristy (2021) The impact of providing end-of-life care during a pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of health and social care staff: Systematic review and meta-synthesis. Social Science & Medicine, 287. ISSN 0277-9536

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Abstract

Background: Disease outbreaks and disasters can result in excess deaths and severe disruption of usual end-of-life care processes. We aimed to: i) synthesise evidence describing the experiences of health and social care staff providing end-of-life care during a disease outbreak or humanitarian disaster, ii) understand the impact on their mental health and wellbeing and, iii) identify means of support. Methods: A systematic review with meta-synthesis was conducted including studies of health and social care staff providing end-of-life care during disease outbreaks (Ebola, COVID-19, SARs, MERs) or humanitarian disasters (2001–2020). MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and grey literature databases were searched systematically, with forward and backward citation searching of included studies. Any research study designs, in any care settings, were included. Study quality was assessed using an appraisal tool relevant to each study design. Qualitative meta-synthesis was used to analyse the findings, which were then reported narratively. PROSPERO registration: CRD42020181444. Results: Nineteen studies were included, including 10 Ebola studies and two COVID-19 studies. The analysis generated two superordinate themes: individual experience and organisational responsibilities. Individual experience comprised four themes: dignity in death, positive experiences, negative experience and support for staff. Organisational responsibilities comprised four themes: preparation, adaption, resources, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Discussion: No studies quantitively measured the impact of providing end-of-life care on staff mental health and wellbeing, however qualitative studies described experiences in varied settings. Serious disease outbreaks and disasters can expose care staff to abnormally high levels of mortality and suffering. Health and social care systems need to proactively prepare for future events and enable peer support mechanisms that may help mitigate experiences of psychological distress in humanitarian crises.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: This research has been made possible by a collaboration across the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England Mental Health Over the Life Course theme (BP, KS), Palliative and End-of-Life Care theme (GP, MF), and Inclusive Involvement in Research for Practice Led Health and Social Care (GP). KS is Lead of Workforce Sustainability Research Group for University of East Anglia Health and Social Care Partners. This is a summary of research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration East of England. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Uncontrolled Keywords: covid-19,end-of-life care,health care staff,humanitarian disaster,mental health,pandemic,social care staff,wellbeing,health(social science),history and philosophy of science,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3306
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 11:16
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2021 01:04
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/81427
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114397

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