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COWORKER Nursing Home Study: Effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of nursing home workers in Ireland

Project status
Dr Conan Brady / Prof Declan McLoughlin
Host institution
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
Team members
Dr Conan Brady / Prof Declan McLoughlin / Prof Iracema Leroi / Prof Blanaid Hayes / Prof Martina Hennessy / Prof Agnes Higgins / Prof Ricardo Segurado / Ms Deirdre Shanagher
Funding information (if funded)
Funded by Dept of Psychiatry, TCD
Project Summary

This will be a cross-sectional, on-line, anonymous survey of nursing home staff (nurses, health care assistants and activity coordinators) within nursing homes affiliated with Nursing Homes Ireland in Ireland (Survey 1).  The same survey will be repeated after 4-6 months to assess longer-term outcomes (Survey 2). To strengthen the overall study design, we are hoping to be able to link data from the two surveys by asking participants to generate their own unique anonymous identification number.

Distinguishing strengths of our study are inclusion of various HCWs, from a range of healthcare environments, with varying degrees of risk exposure, follow-up and an “opt-in” ability to link the two surveys. Additionally, we will be able to compare results with a similar survey targeted at hospital staff. The survey comprises of demographic information and validated questionnaires which assess healthcare workers psychological distress and coping strategies.

We will use mixed-methods to collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data.



  1. To measure the prevalence and extent of symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression among nursing home staff in Ireland in different professions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  2. To identify nursing home staff perceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic, moral injury, coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours.
  3. To examine the longer-term risk of persisting mental health issues in nursing home staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Outputs / Expected Outputs

A paper on the study has been published here:

Brady C, Fenton C, Loughran O, Hayes B, Hennessy M, Higgins A, Leroi I, Shanagher D and McLoughlin DM (2021) Nursing home staff mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.


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COWORKER Nursing Home Study: Effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of nursing home workers in Ireland