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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults mental health services: A mixed methods study

Bhome, R; Huntley, J; Dalton-Locke, C; San Juan, NV; Oram, S; Foye, U; Livingston, G; (2021) Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults mental health services: A mixed methods study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 10.1002/gps.5596. (In press).

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Abstract

Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on older adults mental health care. Our study aimed to explore staff perspectives on key challenges and innovations in order to help inform the delivery of older adults mental health care in subsequent waves of the pandemic. // Methods: A mixed methods online questionnaire developed by National Institute for Health Research Mental Health Policy Research Unit was used to gather staff perspectives on their challenges at work, problems faced by service users and their carers, and sources of help and support. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative analysis and descriptive content analysis for qualitative analysis. // Results: 158 participants, working in either community or inpatient settings, and from a range of professional disciplines, were included. For inpatient staff, a significant challenge was infection control. In the community, staff identified a lack of access to physical and social care as well as reduced contact with friends and families as being challenges for patients. Remote working was seen as a positive innovation along with COVID-19 related guidance from various sources and peer support. // Conclusion: Our study, with a focus on staff and patient well-being, helps to inform service development for future waves of the pandemic. We discuss measures to improve infection control in inpatient settings, the role of voluntary organisations in supporting socially isolated community patients, the need for better integration of physical and mental health services at an organisational level, and the importance of training staff to support patients and their families with end of life planning.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults mental health services: A mixed methods study
DOI: 10.1002/gps.5596
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.5596
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134007
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