Emerging Evidence: Impact of Infection Outbreak on Long-Term Care Staff, A Rapid Review on Psychological Well-Being

Embregts, P., van Oorsouw, W. and Nijs, S., 2020. Impact of Infection Outbreak on Long-Term Care Staff: A Rapid Review on Psychological Well-Being. Journal of Long-Term Care, (2020), pp.70–79. DOI: http://doi.org/10.31389/jltc.40


Context: Older people and people with an intellectual disability who receive long-term care are considered particularly vulnerable to infection outbreaks, such as the current Coronavirus Disease 2019. The combination of healthcare concerns and infection-related restrictions may result in specific challenges for long-term care staff serving these populations during infection outbreaks.

Objectives: This review aimed to: (1) provide insight about the potential impact of infection outbreaks on the psychological state of healthcare staff and (2) explore suggestions to support and protect their psychological well-being.

Method: Four databases were searched, resulting in 2,176 hits, which were systematically screened until six articles remained. Thematic analysis was used to structure and categorise the data.

Findings: Studies about healthcare staff working in long-term care for people with intellectual disabilities were not identified. Psychological outcomes of healthcare staff serving older people covered three themes: emotional responses (i.e., fears and concerns, tension, stress, confusion, and no additional challenges), ethical dilemmas, and reflections on work attendance. Identified suggestions to support and protect care staff were related to education, provision of information, housing, materials, policy and guidelines.

Limitations: Only six articles were included in the syntheses.

Implications: Research into support for long-term care staff during an infection outbreak is scarce. Without conscious management, policy and research focus, the needs of this professional group may remain underexposed in current and future infection outbreaks. The content synthesis and reflection on it in this article provide starting points for new research and contribute to the preparation for future infection outbreaks.

The full article is available in the Journal of Long-Term Care website: https://journal.ilpnetwork.org/articles/10.31389/jltc.40/

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