Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the stress and coping experiences of healthcare workers (HCWs) in care home settings in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design: A cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted using an online survey and interviews.

Methods: Mean scores were calculated for both stress and coping and t-tests used to explore possible links to demographics. Qualitative data were analysed thematically using Braun and Clarke's method.

Results: For 52 survey participants, the mean score for the PSS was M = 39.75 and CSE-M = 150.6 indicating high stress and medium coping skills. From the t-test, only absence of health issues was associated with higher levels of coping. Thirteen HCWs participated in one-to-one interviews. Qualitative data analysis generated four themes contributing to stress: 1. personal factors, 2. changed care environment, 3. amplified scrutiny and 4. psychological responses. Coping was represented as three main themes: 1. personal factors, 2. organizational culture and 3. safety and security. There is a critical need for a strategic approach to provide psychological support to care home staff both during and beyond the context of the pandemic.


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Cite as

Beattie, M., Carolan, C., Macaden, L., Maciver, A., Dingwall, L., MacGilleEathain, R. & Schoultz, M. 2022, 'Care home workers experiences of stress and coping during COVID‐19 pandemic: A mixed methods study', Nursing Open. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.1335

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Last updated: 02 September 2022
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