Mental health patterns of physiotherapists in South Africa during COVID-19

South African Journal of Physiotherapy

Field Value
Title Mental health patterns of physiotherapists in South Africa during COVID-19
Creator Bemath, Nabeelah Israel, Nicky Hassem, Tasneem
Subject Psychology; Health Sciences; Physiotherapy mental health; COVID-19; frontline; physiotherapists; trend analysis
Description Background: While attention has been drawn to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the mental health of healthcare workers generally, little is known regarding mental health changes over time in frontline and non-frontline physiotherapists during this period.Objectives: Our study aimed to investigate differences in mental health trends among frontline and non-frontline physiotherapists across three time periods during the pandemic.Method: Survey-based data were collected from 366 practising physiotherapists across three time periods during the pandemic (Time 1: n = 171; Time 2: n = 101; Time 3: n = 94). Variations in reported mental health of frontline and non-frontline respondents generally and over time were analysed using comparative statistical techniques and trend analysis.Results: Frontline physiotherapists reported significantly lower levels of general mental well-being and resilience, and significantly higher levels of burnout and maladaptive strategy use. Only frontline physiotherapists’ general mental well-being and resilience decreased over time, whereas depression decreased over time for both groups. Anxiety decreased over time for non-frontline physiotherapists but initially decreased and then increased for frontline physiotherapists. Burnout increased initially and then decreased for non-frontline physiotherapists.Conclusion: Varying mental health trends were found between frontline and non-frontline physiotherapists over time. Nuanced mental health interventions that consider the period of the pandemic and degree of exposure are needed.Clinical implications: Understandings of the mental health trajectories experienced by physiotherapists across the pandemic can inform long-term, targeted interventions that effectively enhance well-being, retention, and sustainability of practitioners, and thus the care delivered, in the healthcare system.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor University of the Witwatersrand Open Access Fund
Date 2023-07-06
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Repeated Cross-Sectional; Trend Analysis
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajp.v79i1.1881
Source South African Journal of Physiotherapy; Vol 79, No 1 (2023); 10 pages 2410-8219 0379-6175
Language eng
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Coverage South Africa COVID-19 Physiotherapists
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Nabeelah Bemath, Nicky Israel, Tasneem Hassem