Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic is a traumatic stressor resulting in anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and burnout among healthcare workers. We describe an intervention to support the health workforce and summarize results from its 40-week implementation in a large, tri-state health system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method: We conducted 121 virtual and interactive Stress and Resilience Town Halls attended by 3555 healthcare workers. Town hall participants generated 1627 stressors and resilience strategies that we coded and analyzed using rigorous qualitative methods (Kappa = 0.85).
Results: We identify six types of stressors and eight types of resilience strategies reported by healthcare workers, how these changed over time, and how town halls were responsive to emerging health workforce needs. We show that town halls dedicated to groups working together yielded 84% higher mean attendance and more sharing of stressors and resilience strategies than those offered generally across the health system, and that specific stressors and strategies are reported consistently while others vary markedly over time.
Conclusions: The virtual and interactive Stress and Resilience Town Hall is an accessible, scalable, and sustainable intervention to build mutual support, wellness, and resilience among healthcare workers and within hospitals and health systems responding to emerging crises, pandemics, and disasters.
Keywords: Burnout; Disaster; Health workforce; Qualitative; Trauma; Wellness.
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