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Evaluating a Psychological First Aid Training Intervention (Preparing Me) to Support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Chinese Healthcare Workers During Healthcare Emergencies: Protocol for a randomized controlled feasibility trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Ling Wang, Ian Norman, Tao Xiao , Yamin Li, Xizhao Li, Mary Leamy

Original languageEnglish
Article number809679
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Accepted/In press22 Dec 2021
Published27 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: IN, ML, and LW were responsible for the research concept development. LW drafted the manuscript, IN and ML contributed to the text and critically revised the manuscript. XL contributed to methodology and trial registration. YL, TX, and LW obtained funding and support from the local authorities. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: Copyright © 2022 Wang, Norman, Xiao, Li, Li and Leamy.

King's Authors


Aims/Background: The mental health challenges of frontline healthcare workers responding to public health emergencies and other critical incidents have become a prominent issue of public concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is some evidence that Psychological First Aid (PFA) training can improve self-efficacy of health professionals and reduce their psychological distress when managing crisis situations, but the low quality of existing evidence may hamper future proactive uptake. This study aims to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of an adapted PFA training intervention (Preparing Me) tailored to Chinese frontline healthcare workers to improve their mental health preparedness and recognize and manage stress when confronted with healthcare emergencies.

Method: This is a two-armed feasibility randomized controlled trial conducting among 80 Chinese frontline healthcare workers without prior related mental health training. Participants from the intervention group will receive an adapted PFA training program tailored to the Chinese frontline context to improve their knowledge and skills to support people in crisis. The primary objectives are to evaluate the training intervention’s feasibility and the target population’s acceptance of this educational intervention. The secondary objective is to preliminary estimates of variability in participants outcomes over a 3-month period. Measurements are taken pre-intervention (T0), post intervention (T1), and at 1- and 3-month follow-up (T2-T3). A process evaluation using qualitative research with a subgroup of trainees, their clinical managers as well as trainers will be conducted to gain a comprehensive understanding of the intervention’s acceptability and feasibility.

Discussion: This present study protocol will help to establish whether this adapted PFA training intervention is feasible and accepted by the frontline healthcare workers, in preparation for a later effectiveness trial. It is anticipated that the findings from this feasibility study may give further insight into the use of PFA training intervention for supporting the mental health of frontline healthcare

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