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NHS CHECK: protocol for a cohort study investigating the psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers

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Danielle Lamb, Neil Greenberg, Matthew Hotopf, Rosalind Raine, Reza Razavi, Rupa Bhundia, Hannah Scott, Ewan Carr, Rafael Gafoor, Ioannis Bakolis, Siobhan Hegarty, Emilia Souliou, Anne Marie Rafferty, Rebecca Rhead, Danny Weston, Sam Gnangapragasam, Sally Marlow, Simon Wessely, Sharon Stevelink

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere051687
Pages (from-to)e051687
JournalBMJ Open
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Published30 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Competing interests MH, RoR and SW are senior NIHR Investigators. This paper represents independent research part-funded by the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre Trust and King’s College London (MH, SW, SS). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care. RoR reports grants from DHSC/UKRI/ ESRC COVID-19 Rapid Response Call, grants from Rosetrees Trust, grants from King’s Together rapid response call, grants from University College London (UCL) (Wellcome Trust) rapid response call, during the conduct of the study; and grants from NIHR outside the submitted work. MH reports grants from DHSC/UKRI/ESRC COVID-19 Rapid Response Call, grants from Rosetrees Trust, grants from King’s Together rapid response call, grants from UCL Partners rapid response call, during the conduct of the study; grants from Innovative Medicines Initiative and EFPIA, RADAR-CNS consortium, grants from MRC, grants from NIHR, outside the submitted work. SS reports grants from UKRI/ESRC/DHSC, grants from UCL, grants from UKRI/ MRC/DHSC, grants from Rosetrees Trust, grants from King’s Together Fund, during the conduct of the study. NG reports a potential COI with NHSEI, during the conduct of the study; and is the managing director of March on Stress Ltd which has provided training for a number of NHS organisations, although it is not clear if the company has delivered training to any of the participating trusts or not as NG is not directly involved in commissioning specific pieces of work. Funding Information: Funding Funding for NHS CHECK has been received from the following sources: Medical Research Council (MR/V034405/1); UCL/Wellcome (ISSF3/H17RCO/C3); Rosetrees (M952); Economic and Social Research Council (ES/V009931/1); as well as seed funding from National Institute for Health Research Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, King’s College London, National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King’s College London. This paper is independent research supported by the National Institute for Health Research ARC North Thames. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care. Funding Information: Funding for NHS CHECK has been received from the following sources: Medical Research Council (MR/V034405/1); UCL/Wellcome (ISSF3/H17RCO/C3); Rosetrees (M952); Economic and Social Research Council (ES/V009931/1); as well as seed funding from National Institute for Health Research Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, King's College London, National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King's College London. This paper is independent research supported by the National Institute for Health Research ARC North Thames. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on the working lives of healthcare workers (HCWs), but the extent to which their well-being and mental health have been affected remains unclear. This longitudinal cohort study aims to recruit a cohort of National Health Service (NHS) HCWs, conducting surveys at regular intervals to provide evidence about the prevalence of symptoms of mental disorders, and investigate associated factors such as occupational contexts and support interventions available.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: All staff, students and volunteers working in the 18 participating NHS Trusts in England will be sent emails inviting them to complete a survey at baseline, with email invitations for the follow-up surveys sent 6 months and 12 months later. Opening in late April 2020, the baseline survey collects data on demographics, occupational/organisational factors, experiences of COVID-19, validated measures of symptoms of poor mental health (eg, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder), and constructs such as resilience and moral injury. These surveys will be complemented by in-depth psychiatric interviews with a sample of HCWs. Qualitative interviews will also be conducted, to gain deeper understanding of the support programmes used or desired by staff, and facilitators and barriers to accessing such programmes.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval for the study was granted by the Health Research Authority (reference: 20/HRA/210, IRAS: 282686) and local Trust Research and Development approval. Cohort data are collected via Qualtrics online survey software, pseudonymised and held on secure university servers. Participants are aware that they can withdraw from the study at any time, and there is signposting to support services if participants feel they need it. Only those consenting to be contacted about further research will be invited to participate in further components. Findings will be rapidly shared with NHS Trusts, and via academic publications in due course.

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