Feasibility and acceptability of a culturally adapted Psychological First Aid training intervention (Preparing Me) to support the mental health and well-being of front-line healthcare workers in China: A Feasibility Randomised Controlled Trial

Ling Wang*, Ian Norman, Mary Leamy

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Psychological First Aid (PFA) training helps prepare healthcare workers (HCWs) to manage trauma and stress during healthcare emergencies, yet evidence regarding its effectiveness and implementation is lacking.
Methods: A two-arm feasibility randomised controlled trial design was conducted in a Chinese tertiary hospital. Participants were randomly allocated to either receive a culturally adapted PFA training (the intervention arm) or to receive psychoeducation (the control arm). Feasibility indicators and selected outcomes were collected.
Results: 215 workers who expressed an interest in participating in the trial were screened for eligibility, resulting in 96 eligible participants being randomly allocated to the intervention arm (n=48) and control arm (n=48). There was a higher retention rate for the face-to-face PFA training session than four online group PFA sessions. Participants rated the PFA training as very helpful (86%), with a satisfaction rate of 74.25%, and 47% of them reported being able to apply their PFA skills, in responding to public health emergencies or providing front-line clinical care. Positive outcome changes were observed in their PFA knowledge, skills, attitudes, resilience, self-efficacy, compassion satisfaction, and post-traumatic growth. Their scores on depression, anxiety, stress, and burnout measures all declined. Encouragingly, most of these changes were sustained over three months (p<0.05). Repeated measures ANOVA analysis found a statistical interaction effect on depression
(F2,232=2.874, p=0.046, ηp²=0.031) and burnout (F2,211=3.729, p=0.018, ηp²=0.037), indicating a greater reduction in symptoms of depression and burnout in the PFA compared to psychoeducation training.
Conclusion: This culturally adapted PFA training intervention was highly acceptable among Chinese HCWs and was feasible within a frontline care setting. Preliminary findings indicated positive changes for the PFA training intervention on knowledge, skills, attitudes, resilience, self-efficacy, compassion satisfaction and post-traumatic growth, especially a reduction of depression and burnout. Further modifications are recommended and a fully powered evaluation of PFA training is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of psychotraumatology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2024

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