Views of mental health professionals on positive changes in service practices and staff-client relationships after a year of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy
This article was originally published here
J Psychosoc Rehabilitation Ment Health. 2022 Jan 20:1-11. doi: 10.1007/s40737-022-00259-7. Online ahead of print.
This study explored the views of mental health service (MHS) professionals regarding positive changes in service practices and organizations, and staff-user relationships after one year of COVID-19 in Italy. Professionals from a community-based MHS completed the COVID-19 Pandemic Transformations of MHS Questionnaire online, a 30-item tool developed through a participatory and validated approach. Of the 184 participants, 91.8% felt it was “true/completely true” that during the pandemic they had informed users about procedures to reduce the risk of contagion, and 82.1% said having multiplied telephone contacts with users. Sixty-nine percent of professionals said staff revised treatment plans based on new care needs and 78.6% said they were able to mediate between user needs and safe work procedures . In addition, 79.4% of respondents say they have rediscovered the importance of gestures and habits, and 65% that they have gained strength from their colleagues to face fear. Fifty-four percent of participants admitted to discovering unexpected personal resources in users. Overall, 59.6% of participants said they found positives in the COVID-19 experience. Perceived positive changes were greater among professionals in community settings than among those in hospitals and residential facilities. In community MHS, the pandemic has been an opportunity to change practices and rethink the meaning of relationships between people. This data may be useful for generating a more balanced understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on MHS and for planning for MHS in the pandemic era.