Article

Stress and Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Exploration of Frontline Homelessness Services Staff Experiences in Scotland

Details

Citation

Carver H, Price T, Falzon D, McCulloch P & Parkes T (2022) Stress and Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Exploration of Frontline Homelessness Services Staff Experiences in Scotland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (6), Art. No.: 3659. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063659

Abstract
Staff working in homelessness services often find the work rewarding yet challenging, and the sector experiences high levels of staff burnout and staff turnover. During the COVID-19 pandemic, staff working in these services faced particularly stressful working conditions. This study explored the experiences of stress and wellbeing among those working in frontline homelessness service roles during the early stages of the pandemic in Scotland. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 participants, 11 of whom completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). Qualitative data were analysed using Framework Analysis in NVivo, informed by the Revised Transactional Model of occupational stress and coping. MBI data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The COVID-19 pandemic positively and negatively impacted participants’ lives and roles. Organisational culture acted as a magnifying glass for pre-pandemic practices: for some, the pandemic brought teams and staff closer together, creating a better working environment. For others, it led to fragmentation and frustration. Participants discussed coping strategies and recommendations for the future to protect staff wellbeing. Quantitative data suggested that participants were not experiencing burnout, although some were at heightened risk. Future research should explore the longer-term impact of the pandemic on homelessness service staff outcomes.

Keywords
homelessness; wellbeing; staff; organisational culture; burnout; Scotland; occupational stress; COVID-19; Maslach Burnout Inventory

Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Volume 19, Issue 6

StatusPublished
Publication date31/03/2022
Publication date online31/03/2022
Date accepted by journal16/03/2022
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/34089
PublisherMDPI AG
eISSN1660-4601

People (4)

People

Dr Hannah Carver
Dr Hannah Carver

Lecturer in Substance Use, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Mr Danilo Falzon
Mr Danilo Falzon

Research Assistant, Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor Tessa Parkes
Professor Tessa Parkes

Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences

Dr Tracey Price-Allan
Dr Tracey Price-Allan

Research Fellow, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

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