COVID-19 resources

Results 311 - 320 of 1465

Social work practice education and training during the pandemic: disruptions and discoveries

International Social Work

The COVID-19 pandemic evoked a disruption to social work (SW) practice education and this brief note describes discoveries made in teaching SW practice virtually. One example is Virtual Practice Fridays, adapted to build SW practice competencies online, and another example is a re-designed course on cross-cultural SW practice using simulation-based learning.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

Reducing social worker burnout during COVID-19

International Social Work

Burnout has become part of everyday vocabulary. During the time of COVID-19, burnout is no longer exclusively associated with job-related stress. Our current climate is entrenched with unprecedented levels of varying societal stressors. Particularly during this time, social workers should prioritize their own mental health. This is necessary in order to have continued success when working with others. This article proposes interventions for social workers to implement in order to combat burnout during the time of COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

Social work and COVID-19 pandemic: an action call

International Social Work

The social work profession, more than any other, is most hurt by the rampaging coronavirus (aka, COVID-19) pandemic given the scourge’s pernicious impact on society’s underserved and undervalued populations. More so, the pandemic has undermined the profession’s historical value commitment to social justice and human rights while overturning our insistence on the importance of human relationships. The purpose of this essay is to explicate the nexus between social work and COVID-19 pandemic. While noting the deafening silence of the profession in the global discourse of the pandemic, it advocates for the urgency of our response if our profession is to attain significant public value amid the current loss of lives and threats to human rights. Strategies for our professional action, in flattening the curve of the contagion, are laid out.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

The more you know, the less you fear: reflexive social work practices in times of COVID-19

International Social Work

In this article, we present the results of a strategy to disseminate best social work practices during periods of social lockdown in Spain, in a climate characterised by post-truth, misinformation and fake news. Social work is challenged with the task of delivering reliable and quality information aimed at building a better society. At the time of writing, Spain was one of the countries most affected by COVID-19, with one of the highest numbers of deaths per million inhabitants in the world. With the population in lockdown, our strategy was to design a series of innovative web seminars on both the subject and the procedures involved in social work, with the aim of sharing information and best practices to counter disinformation campaigns on social media. The results show the growing demand – both by citizens in general and students and professionals in particular – for reliable information in the field of professional practice. One of the priorities of digital social work must be to disseminate its results in the digital environment.

Last updated on hub: 19 November 2020

Only connect: the impact of Covid-19 on older LGBT+ people

Opening Doors London

This report evaluates Opening Doors London’s (ODL) own response to the lockdown and explores the experiences and feelings of its members during this turbulent period. ODL provides information and support services specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT+) people over 50 in the UK. The report is based on a survey of ODL members, with input from the staff and volunteers who swung into action to reconfigure the delivery of vital services in order to continue supporting some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBT+ community. The survey has evidenced the extent of loneliness and social isolation experienced by a group of older LGBT+ people living in London, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdown and worsened both physical and mental health. It also evidenced that the recalibration of ODL services meant that we were able to continue support for this vulnerable population. Findings include: 50% of respondents reported a negative impact on their psychological wellbeing; 18% felt much more depressed than usual; 23% experienced worsened physical health during lockdown; 37% felt more lonely than usual; 27% hardly ever or never had someone to talk to.

Last updated on hub: 18 November 2020

Renewing neighbourhood democracy: creating powerful communities

Localis

This report looks at initiatives to increase the power of communities and strengthen neighbourhood-level democracy, to understand how initiatives to strengthen community power and control as a means of achieving a better functioning local democracy and political economy might work in practice. An area of particular interest is post-pandemic reform to local governance structures in England, embodied in the forthcoming Local Recovery and Devolution White Paper, and how these reforms can open up space for greater community power. Its methodology is a combination of qualitative research – case studies, interviews and surveys – and critical analysis of how community empowerment has been approached nationwide. At its core, this report seeks to understand the current state of community empowerment in the UK and what changes should be made to ensure that the state – both local and central – can best support all communities to prosper and thrive. In conclusion, the report prescribes some immediate policy approaches that could facilitate community empowerment and some more general principles to take forward in both national and local government. From the studies, some key principles for creating powerful communities can be drawn: a relational approach to governance; strong networking and communication systems; dedication to building capacity; work rooted in listening to communities; and a willingness to cede some power and control and a culture that is engaged and facilitative.

Last updated on hub: 18 November 2020

Psychosocial impact of COVID-19 nursing home restrictions on visitors of residents with cognitive impairment: a cross-sectional study as part of the engaging remotely in care (ERiC) project

Research published in Frontiers in Psychiatry by O'Caoimh, R. et al., October 2020. Background: COVID-19 has disproportionately affected older people. Visiting restrictions introduced since the start of the pandemic in residential care facilities (RCFs) may impact negatively on visitors including close family, friends, and guardians. This study examined the effects of COVID-19 visiting restrictions on measures of perceived loneliness, well-being, and carer quality of life (QoL) amongst visitors of residents with and without cognitive impairment (CI) in Irish RCFs. Methods: This study created a cross-sectional online survey. Loneliness was measured with the UCLA brief loneliness scale, psychological well-being with the WHO-5 Well-being Index and carer QoL with the Adult Carer QoL Questionnaire (support for caring subscale). Satisfaction with care (“increased/same” and “decreased”) was measured. A history of CI was reported by respondents. Sampling was by convenience with the link circulated through university mail lists and targeted social media accounts for 2 weeks in June 2020. Results: In all, 225 responses were included of which 202 noted whether residents had reported CI. Most of the 202 identified themselves as immediate family (91%) and as female (82%). The majority (67%) were aged between 45 and 64 years. Most (80%) reported that their resident had CI. Approximately one-third indicated reduced satisfaction (27%) or that restrictions had impaired communication with nursing home staff (38%). Median loneliness scores were 4/9, well-being scores 60/100 and carer QoL scores 10/15. Visitors of those with CI reported significantly lower well-being (p = 0.006) but no difference in loneliness (p = 0.114) or QoL (p = 0.305). Reported CI (p = 0.04) remained an independent predictors of lower WHO-5 scores, after adjusting for age, sex, RCF location, and dementia stage (advanced), satisfaction with care (reduced), and perception of staff support measured on the Adult Carer QoL Questionnaire. Conclusion: This survey suggests that many RCF visitors experienced low psychosocial and emotional well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown. Visitors of residents with CI report significantly poorer well-being as measured by the WHO-5 than those without. Additional research is required to understand the importance of disrupted caregiving roles resulting from visiting restrictions on well-being, particularly on visitors of residents with CI and how RCFs and their staff can support visitors to mitigate these.

Last updated on hub: 18 November 2020

Older and ‘staying at home’ during lockdown: informal care receipt during the COVID-19 pandemic amongst people aged 70 and over in the UK

SocArXiv

On 23 March 2020 the UK went into lockdown in an unprecedented step to attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus. Government advice at that time was that all older people aged 70 and over should stay at home and avoid any contact with non-household members. This study uses new data from the Understanding Society COVID 19 survey collected in April 2020, linked to Understanding Society Wave 9 data collected in 2018/19,in order to examine the extent of support received by individuals aged 70 and over in the first four weeks of lockdown from family, neighbours or friends not living in the same household, and how that support had changed prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The research distinguishes between different types of households as given with guidance not to leave home and not to let others into the household, those older people living alone or living only with a partner also aged 70 and above are more likely to be particularly vulnerable. The results highlight both positive news alongside causes for concern. The receipt of assistance with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living(IADLs), especially shopping, has increased particularly among those living alone or with an older partner, reflecting the rise of volunteering and community action during this period. However, not all older people reported a rise, and the majority reported ‘no change’, in the support received. Moreover, amongst those older people reporting that they required support with at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL) task prior to the pandemic, around one-quarter reported receiving no care from outside the household and one-in-ten of those with two or more ADL care needs reported receiving less help than previously. Although formal home care visits have continued during the pandemic to those who have been assessed by the local government to be in need, it is important to acknowledge that some older people risk not having the support they need.

Last updated on hub: 17 November 2020

COVID-19 related mortality and spread of disease in long-term care: a living systematic review of emerging evidence

medRxiv

This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. Background: Policy responses to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care (LTC) require robust and timely evidence on mortality and spread of the disease in these settings. The aim of this living systematic review is to synthesise early international evidence on mortality rates and incidence of COVID-19 among people who use and provide LTC. Methods: We report findings of a living systematic review (CRD42020183557), including studies identified through database searches up to 26 June 2020. We searched seven databases (MEDLINE; Embase; CINAHL Plus; Web of Science; Global Health; WHO COVID-19 Research Database; medRxiv) to identify all studies reporting primary data on COVID-19 related mortality and incidence of disease among LTC users and staff. We excluded studies not focusing on LTC. Included studies were critically appraised and results on number of deaths and COVID-19 related mortality rates, case fatality rates, and excess deaths (co-primary outcomes), as well as incidence of disease, hospitalisations, and ICU admissions were synthesised narratively. Findings: A total of 54 study reports for 49 unique primary studies or outbreak reports were included. Outbreak investigations in LTC facilities found COVID-19 incidence rates of between 0.0% and 71.7% among residents and between 0.4% and 64.0% among staff at affected facilities. Mortality rates varied from 0.0% to 17.1% of all residents at outbreak facilities, with case fatality rates between 0.0% and 33.7%. In included studies of outbreaks, no LTC staff members had died. Studies of wider LTC populations found that between 0.4% and 40.8% of users, and between 4.0% and 23.8% of staff were infected, although the generalisability of these studies is limited. There was limited information on the impact of COVID-19 on LTC in the community. Interpretation: Long-term care users have been particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we found wide variation in spread of disease and mortality rates between outbreaks at individual LTC facilities. Further research into the factors determining successful prevention and containment of COVID-19 outbreaks is needed to protect long-term care users and staff.

Last updated on hub: 17 November 2020

Predictors and rates of PTSD, depression and anxiety in UK frontline health and social care workers during COVID-19

medRxiv

This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. Background Studies have shown that working in frontline healthcare roles during epidemics and pandemics was associated with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Objectives The objectives of this study were to identify demographic, work-related and other predictors for clinically significant PTSD, depression, and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic in UK frontline health and social care workers (HSCWs), and to compare rates of distress across different groups of HCSWs working in different roles and settings. Methods A convenience sample (n=1194) of frontline UK HCSWs completed an online survey during the first wave of the pandemic (27 May – 23 July 2020). Participants worked in UK hospitals, nursing or care homes and other community settings. PTSD was assessed using the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ); Depression was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9); Anxiety was assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7). Results Nearly 58% of respondents met the threshold for clinically significant PTSD, anxiety or depression, and symptom levels were high across occupational groups and settings. Logistic regression analyses found that participants who were concerned about infecting others, who felt they could not talk with their managers, who reported feeling stigmatised and who had not had reliable access to personal protective equipment (PPE) were more likely to meet criteria for a clinically significant mental disorder. Being redeployed during the pandemic, and having had COVID were associated with higher odds for PTSD. Higher household income was associated with reduced odds for a mental disorder. Conclusions This study identified predictors of clinically significant distress during COVID-19 and highlights the need for reliable access to PPE and further investigation of barriers to communication between managers and staff.

Last updated on hub: 17 November 2020