‘It’s intense’ – A mixed-methods analysis of how the early COVID-pandemic impacted on the wellbeing of practitioners in a UK homeless organisation.

Christel Schneider, Natalia Masztalerz, Christopher W. Hobson, Maharin Ahmed, Katherine H. Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Knowledge about the wellbeing of medical professionals working through the COVID-19 pandemic and its practice implications is expanding extensively. It remains, however, sparse for 'essential' (aka critical) community practitioners. We addressed this gap using a repeated-measures analysis of COVID-pandemic wellbeing experiences of critical, homeless-sector practitioners. An explanatory sequential mixed-methods design, capitalizing on a pre-pandemic needs-analysis, longitudinally followed 42 practitioners (30 support staff and 12 project managers) in a single, national UK-based homeless-support organization. Practitioners completed measures, prior to and six months into the COVID-pandemic, of: mental wellbeing, secondary traumatic stress (STS), burnout and compassion satisfaction. Our qualitative questions captured practitioners’ wellbeing, working practice and support experiences in COVID-times. While the pandemic detrimentally impacted on levels of STS, burnout, and general wellbeing in support staff, managers’ mental and professional wellbeing remained consistent with their pre-pandemic scores. Our qualitative analysis identified intense stressors in support staff (not shared by project managers) which hampered client-practitioner relationships and encouraged 'them-and-us' support staff-manager dynamics. The identified nuanced (and contrasting) stressors experienced by practitioners in a national UK homeless-support organization offer insight into what residual and new wellbeing challenges need to be addressed in research and practice as we recover and progress from the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages12
Journal Journal of Social Distress and Homelessness
Volumenot allocated yet
Issue numbernot allocated yet
Early online date24 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2022

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