Introduction We need to understand the impact of COVID-19 on critical care nurses (CCNs) and redeployed nurses and National Health Service (NHS) organisations.

Methods and analysis This is a mixed-methods study (QUANT-QUAL), underpinned by a theoretical model of occupational stress, the Job Demand-Resources Model (JD-R). Participants are critical care and redeployed nurses from Scottish and three large English units.

Phase 1 is a cross-sectional survey in part replicating a pre-COVID-19 study and results will be compared with this data. Linear and logistic regression analysis will examine the relationship between antecedent, demographic and professional variables on health impairment (burnout syndrome, mental health, post-traumatic stress symptoms), motivation (work engagement, commitment) and organisational outcomes (intention to remain in critical care nursing and quality of care). We will also assess the usefulness of a range of resources provided by the NHS and professional organisations.

To allow in-depth exploration of individual experiences, phase 2 will be one-to-one semistructured interviews with 25 CCNs and 10 redeployed nurses. The JD-R model will provide the initial coding framework to which the interview data will be mapped. The remaining content will be analysed inductively to identify and chart content that is not captured by the model. In this way, the adequacy of the JD-R model is examined robustly and its expression in this context will be detailed.

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval was granted from the University of Aberdeen CERB2020101993. We plan to disseminate findings at stakeholder events, publish in peer-reviewed journals and at present at national and international conferences.


This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Cite as

Rattray, J., McCallum, L., Hull, A., Ramsay, P., Salisbury, L., Scott, T., Cole, S., Miller, J. & Dixon, D. 2021, 'Work-related stress: The impact of COVID-19 on critical care and redeployed nurses: A mixed-methods study', BMJ Open, 11(7), article no: e051326. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051326

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Last updated: 22 April 2024
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