Care Home Project

‘Running on empty:’ Care Home Workers’ Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic content

‘Running on empty:’ Care Home Workers’ Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for health care workers (HCWs) globally.  Those working in care home settings were especially impacted due to caring for ageing residents with associated multimorbidity, cognitive impairments, high resident to staff ratios and shared resident facilities.  We worked with Balhousie Care Group (owners of 26 care homes in Scotland) and colleagues from Northumbria University to explore the stress and coping experiences of health care workers (HCWs) in care home settings in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic.  A cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted using an online survey and interviews. 

A brief overview of the study is available via our video below and full details of the study are available in our publication.  The study highlights the personal sacrifices made by HCWs, and the importance of tailoring generic infection reducing strategies to a care home environment to take cognisance of residents with impaired cognition.  Additionally, the study acknowledges the strong sense of family within this HCW community and how this aided their ability to cope. Our study provides an opportunity to act on these findings to reduce further physical and mental health impact on HCWs and to commend their efforts and commitment during this crisis. 


Please contact Dr Michelle Beattie on behalf of the Care Home Research Team for any further information. We would like to thank the HCWs at Balhousie who gave their time to participate in the study during this exceptional time.

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