Nursing home staff perceptions of well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study

Cornelia van Diepen*, Lotte Vestjens, Anna Petra Nieboer, Renee Scheepers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Aims: To explore how nursing home staff perceived their work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this impacted their well-being. Design: A qualitative interview study. Methods: Interviews were held with twenty-two registered nurses and assistant nurses from five nursing homes in the Netherlands between April 2021 and July 2021. The interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR) were followed. Results: Five themes emerged from the interviews and indicated that working during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted perceived well-being of nursing home staff. Three themes concerned experiences at work: eroding care, additional roles and workplace support. Specifically, the increased workload with additional tasks, the constant stream of new guidelines and constrictive personal protective equipment caused discomfort and anxiety. Two other themes concerned experiences outside of work: work-life interference and social interactions and status. The nurses reported that when they returned home after work, they were tired and worried about spreading the virus while facing limited social interactions and support. Conclusion: The social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted nursing home staff well-being by increasing demands in the absence of adequate resources. Implications for the Profession and/or Patient Care: The well-being needs of nurses should receive continued attention to ensure the sustainability of healthcare during future crises. Patient or Public Contribution: The nursing home managers participated in recommending the topics to be covered during interviews. Impact: What problem did the study address? The pressure of stressful working conditions on the well-being of nurses during the pandemic. What were the main findings? Nurses created strategies to cope with declining well-being. However, the available resources did not alleviate the increased demands caused by the pandemic. Where and on whom will the research have an impact? This study is important for healthcare organizations to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected nurses so that they may better prepare for future crises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3866-3875
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number10
Early online date12 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding information: Erasmus Trustfund, Grant/Award Number: 97035. 2020.101.284/238/RB; Warande Foundation


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