University of Leicester
2022HudsonNDClinPsy.pdf (2.31 MB)

Professionals’ experiences of working within mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic

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posted on 2023-01-10, 10:08 authored by Nicole Louise Hudson

Literature Review

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way mental health services delivered care. The rapid deployment in teletherapy was driven by the necessity for the continuity mental health care whilst also safe guarding clients but raised challenges.

Method: This review synthesizes the qualitative literature exploring mental health professional’s experiences of delivering therapy virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. This review identified 1065 articles and 11 articles met the eligibility criteria for inclusion in the review (n=11).

Results: Six main themes were identified; ‘teletherapy transitions’, ‘increased flexibility and accessibility to therapy’, ‘the home as a therapeutic space’, ‘therapeutic challenges and service disruption’ and ‘technological barriers’.

Conclusion: The findings highlight the benefits and challenges of teletherapy and highlight needs for effective teletherapy. Limitations and future applications are discussed.

Empirical Research Project

Background: The sudden disruption to healthcare systems impacted staff’s wellbeing and led to an increase in moral distress and burnout. Mental health services were faced with novel challenges posed by the pandemic, yet inpatient mental health settings remain an under researched area. The primary aim of the present study is to explore staff’s experiences of working within an inpatient mental health unit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The secondary aim is to explore staff’s experiences of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Methods: A mixture of audio diaries and semi-structured interviews were used to collect participant’s (n= 12; 8 female, 4 male) experiences. Thematic analysis was used to analyse participant’s experiences and identify salient themes.

Results: Six main themes were identified from mental health staff’s experiences of working during COVID-19, including ‘the personal cost’, ‘adaptation’, ‘engagement with covid restrictions’, ‘organisational and team culture’, ‘vaccine motivation’ and ‘vaccine hesitancy’

Conclusion: Mental health professionals working within inpatient units experience threats to wellbeing, moral distress and a tricky relationship with the COVID-19 vaccine. Limitations and implications for future practice are discussed.



Ceri Jones; Noelle Robertson.

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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