• Are acceptance and commitment therapy-based interventions effective for reducing burnout in direct-care staff? A systematic review and meta-analysis

      Tickle, Anna C. (2018)
      Purpose Work-related stress amongst staff working in direct care roles in mental health and intellectual disability settings is associated with a range of problematic outcomes. There has been a proliferation of research into the use of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)-based interventions in this staff population. The purpose of this paper is to review the extant literature. Design/methodology/approach A systematic search of the literature was conducted, and seven studies identified which met the criteria for inclusion in the review, of which four were eligible for meta-analysis. Findings Results of the meta-analysis were most convincing for the effectiveness of ACT-interventions to reduce psychological distress within a subgroup of those with higher distress at baseline. There was no statistically significant effect for the amelioration of burnout, nor for an increase in psychological flexibility (a key ACT construct). Research limitations/implications Conceptual issues are considered including the purpose and treatment targets of ACT interventions, such as supporting valued living rather than diminishing stress per se. Methodological issues are discussed around the measurement of psychological flexibility. Originality/value This review makes recommendations for future research and for the implementation of ACT-interventions for work-related stress in these settings.
    • Psychological and physical health impacts of forensic workplace trauma

      Mistry, Dipti; Gozna, Lynsey (2021)
      Purpose: Health-care professionals working in inpatient forensic mental health settings are exposed to a range of traumatic and distressing incidents with impacts discussed variously as “burnout”, “compassion fatigue”, “secondary trauma stress” and “vicarious traumatisation”. This study aims to explore the short- and long-term psychological and physical health effects of trauma exposure in the workplace for frontline staff in a forensic setting. Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 nursing staff members working in the male personality disorders care stream in a Medium Secure Hospital. Findings: Thematic analysis yielded five themes: categories of trauma; how well-being is impacted; ways of coping and managing; protective factors; and systemic factors, with sub-themes within each of the superordinate themes. Practical implications: The findings demonstrate that some staff members were affected both physically and psychologically as a result of trauma-focused work whereas other staff members were unaffected. The psychological and physical health effects were broadly short-term; however, long-term effects on staff member’s social networks and desensitisation to working conditions were observed. A broad range of coping methods were identified that supported staff member’s well-being, which included both individual and organisational factors. Staff member’s health is impacted by exposure to workplace trauma either directly or indirectly through exposure to material, and there is a greater need to support staff members after routine organisational provisions are complete. Staff should receive education and training on the possible health effects associated with exposure to potentially traumatic material and events. Originality/value: This research has further contributed to understanding the staff needs of nursing staff members working with the forensic personality disorder patients within a secure hospital setting. This research has identified the following service developments: the need for ongoing support particularly after organisational provisions are complete; further prospects to engage in psychological formulations; greater opportunities for informal supervision forums; staff training to understand the potential health impact associated with trauma-focused work; supervisors being appropriately trained and supported to elicit impacts of trauma-focused work on staff members; and additional opportunities to discuss well-being or monitor well-being.