Thursday, December 01, 2022

Stress among healthcare workers: a model to help us rethink the challenges McGill University Health Center

Better understanding for better support: A new model developed by RI-MUHC researchers shows the relationship between various factors influencing the psychological well-being of health care workers.

The stress experienced by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on their mental health as well as their personal and professional environment. The problem requires utmost attention, but what can actually be done to improve things? In a new study, a team of researchers from the McGill University Health Center (RI-MUHC) and McGill University’s Research Institute have found a way to help health professionals, researchers, managers and decision makers better understand the dynamics of the factors that fuel A tool has been proposed for or to reduce psychological distress in health care workers, so that it can be better responded to. The tool takes the form of a model that shows that sources of support and coping strategies modulate the effects of stress on stress and psychological distress by providing support.

Stress, anxiety and burnout, as well as depression and compassion fatigue, were recognized and documented among healthcare workers long before the pandemic hit. However, according to the study’s authors, most of the research to date – and especially during pandemics – has focused on stress, burnout, psychological distress or health workers’ strategies for managing stress, without examining links between these events. is focused.

Pro.  Jason Harley, Phd, First Author Of The Article
Pro. Jason Harley, PhD, first author of the article

“This is problematic because focusing solely on stress or irritation without considering psychological distress, resilience or coping strategies limits our understanding of the consequences of these interconnected events,” said Professor Jason Harley, PhD, The first author of the article, says a scientist. Injury Repair Recovery Program at RI-MUHC. “There are many individual and relevant factors that need to be considered in order to properly interpret the research findings,” Prof. Harley, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. An associate member of the Institute for Health Sciences Education at McGill University and McGill University

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The article, published in the journal, Health Care Management Review, aims to address these issues. It proposes a model that represents the key factors that affect the well-being of healthcare workers as well as the factors that are affected by their distress. It is an adapted version of the original Wheaton and Montazer model.

According to this model:

  • Stress is triggered by various professional or personal stressors (workload, lack of resources, lack of sleep, etc.).
  • Using sources of support (resources provided by the employer, friends, psychotherapy, etc.) can reduce the effects of stress on the experienced stressor.
  • The coping strategies, thoughts, and actions by which individuals attempt to manage, tolerate, or reduce their stress influence the relationship between stress and psychological distress. Creative strategies, such as seeking psychological help or playing sports, can reduce the effects of stress. Conversely, poor strategies, such as abstinence and substance abuse, can exacerbate the effects of stress on psychological distress.
  • Personal, organizational and global contexts can influence the stressors, the coping strategies adopted, and the distress experienced.
  • Psychological distress in healthcare workers can have consequences for themselves, their colleagues, their patients, and their organization, and in a vicious circle, these consequences can in turn lead to stress.
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COVID-19: A state of concern for the mental health of workers

By examining the current situation in the light of this model, the research team found an increase in professional and personal stresses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare workers have had to deal with a sense of being caught between increased volumes of work, changes in protocol, difficult decisions, patient safety, their own safety, the safety of their families, and more. In addition, access to some personal means of support and stress management has been disrupted by the pandemic (for example, gym closures, limited contact with friends and co-workers, etc.).

“It is time to address the current crisis affecting the wellbeing of healthcare professionals and deal with the additional stress caused by the pandemic. The future may bring new waves of COVID-19 as well as new pandemics; We need to be prepared,” says Prof. Harley. “It is in the best interest of individuals, institutions and societies to help solve this problem, and we have the power and expertise to do so collectively. We hope this model can help those involved in making informed decisions to help our valued health care workers.”

about study

article Rethinking how health care professionals deal with stress: a process model for COVID-19 and beyond Jason M. Harley, Tina C. Montreal, Nigel Mantou Lu, Lian S. Feldman, Gerald M. Fried, Melanie Lavoie-Tremblay, Farhan Bhanji and Heather Kennedy.

DOI: 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000345

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