Walker M, Tuzik Micek W. The psychological effects of COVID-19 on pediatric frontline nurses. Research poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.
Research poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.
Background: COVID-19 affected children with lower rates of infections. However, the uncertainties pediatric nurses faced were similar and yet different from nurses caring exclusively for adults.
1) Describe the characteristics, work experiences, coping strategies and psychological effects experienced by nurses during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
2) Identify factors associated with negative psychological effects in nurses.
Method: This study was a descriptive cross-sectional examination of nurses practicing in two pediatric campuses. Nurse participants were recruited via an e-mail message including a link to the electronic survey. A revised self-reported 96-item Health Care Worker Impact survey measuring seven domains was chosen to assess perceptions of risk to self and others, confidence in infection control information, impact on personal/work life and depressive symptoms. Validated scales were included to evaluate the psychological effects of COVID-19: Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Demographic data were also included.
Results: Most participants were white, female, married, aged 26-35 years, and working full-time. Pediatric nurses reported family health, personal health and child/elder care were the highest personal stressors prior to COVID-19. Pediatric nurses scores were not different from nurses caring exclusively for adults. Results are as follow: PHQ-9 – Campus A mean=4.92 (n=71, Range 0-23, SD 5.44)=Mild range; PHQ-9 – Campus B mean=6.31 (n=41, Range 0-26, SD 5.29)=Mild; GAD-7 – Campus A mean=4.20, n=71, Range 0-18, SD 4.6)=Normal; GAD-7 – Campus B mean=6.0 (n=49, Range 0-21, SD 5.0)=Mild; IES – Campus A mean=17.0 (n=73, Range, 0-61, SD 14.85 )=Mild; IES – Campus B mean=22.08 (n=49, Range 0-62, SD 14.9)=Mild.
Discussion: The COVID-19 pandemic-imposed stressors and the results suggest that pediatric nurses experienced similar levels of depression, anxiety, and distress as adult nurses.
Implications for Practice: Short and long-term interventions should target nurses regardless of patient population. Support needs are broad but a focus on healthy coping strategies and peer support should be prioritized.