Aims Psychological First Aid is a brief intervention based on international guidance from the World Health Organisation. Free to access online training in the intervention was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic in UK. We aimed to determine the uptake of Psychological First Aid training among healthcare workers in care homes in the UK and to assess its effects on their wellbeing. Design This was a sequential mixed methods design. Methods Healthcare workers (nurses and carers) working in care homes in the UK were surveyed about their uptake of Psychological First Aid, their stress, coping efficacy and the key concepts of Psychological First Aid (safety, calmness, hopefulness, connectedness, and accomplishment). Those that completed the Psychological First Aid training were asked to share their experiences via qualitative survey. Data collection was conducted between June and October 2021. Analyses included descriptive statistics and regression analysis. A six step thematic analysis was used to interpret the qualitative data. Results 388 participants responded to the survey. The uptake of Psychological First Aid training was 37 (9.5%). Psychological first aid was a significant predictor for coping efficacy (β = 17.54, p = .001). Participants with a physical or mental health condition experienced higher stress and lower coping regardless of PFA training. Four themes were identified from the qualitative analysis: self-awareness and growth, relationships with others, overcoming stress and accessibility. Conclusion While this study suggests some benefits to healthcare workers in care home settings undergoing PFA the poor uptake of the training warrants further investigation.


© 2022 Schoultz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Schoultz, M., McGrogan, C., Beattie, M., Macaden, L., Carolan, C. & Dickens, G. 2022, 'Uptake and effects of psychological first aid training for healthcare workers' wellbeing in nursing homes: A UK national survey', PLoS ONE, 17(11), article no: e0277062. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0277062

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Last updated: 20 November 2023
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