Children’s Psychiatric Clinic in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: from Employee Psychology to Management Decisions

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Abstract

Background. The well-being and safety of health workers in a pandemic situation is recognized by the World Health Organization as a priority area of research and practice. Most of the materials postulate the presence of anxious, depressive experiences in workers who have direct contact with patients infected with COVID-19, and those who do not have such experience.

Aims — to study the features of the experience of the situation related to COVID-19, among the staff of the Center n.a. G.E. Sukhareva to improve the quality of specialized care for children.

Methods. The study took place on May 18–20 2020, was continuous and voluntary — all employees were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire in paper or online format. The developed author’s questionnaire included several blocks containing questions about: 1) changing attitudes towards patients and colleagues; 2) emotional experiences in connection with COVID-19; 3) ways to cope with a pandemic; 4) received social support; 4) attitude to finance.

Results. Participants in the study were 380 employees (psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, nurses, educators, non-medical staff) of the Center n.a. G.E. Sukhareva, divided into two groups: working directly with patients with COVID-19 (115 people) and those without this experience (265 people). The data obtained allows us to talk about the differences between the two groups. Clinical observational staff have an increased desire for peer support, a greater focus on collaboration and team input, and positive expectations for the administration. The leading motivation in making a decision to work with COVID-19 was the attitude of duty — 25.4% emphasized the particular importance of their activities. Management decisions in a situation of limited time and human resources were made; this decisions aimed at managing internal and external communications, enhancing the professional component in an interdisciplinary team and preventing burnout.

Conclusions. A number of timely personnel, administrative, organizational and financial decisions aimed at improving the adaptation of medical workers to the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic allow specialists to continue working in a well-coordinated team and provide patients with care in accordance with the highest standards.

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About the authors

Marina A. Bebchuk

Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Health

Email: Bebchukma@suhareva-center.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7976-0800
SPIN-code: 8636-1559

MD, PhD

Russian Federation, Moscow

Elena I. Aksenova

State-financed Institution of Moscow city "Scientific Research Institute of Healthcare Organization and Medical Management of Moscow Department of Healthcare"

Email: AksenovaEI2@zdrav.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1600-1641
SPIN-code: 1448-9797

PhD in Economics, Professor

Russian Federation, Moscow

Daria V. Dovbysh

Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Health

Author for correspondence.
Email: DovbyshDV@zdrav.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8980-3720
SPIN-code: 9347-6571

Junior Research Associate

Russian Federation, Moscow

Yana Y. Zhorina

Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Health

Email: ZorinaYY@suhareva-center.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6443-9499
SPIN-code: 5852-1694

Clinical Psychologist

Russian Federation, Moscow

Elena A. Gimranova

Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Health

Email: GimranovaEA@suhareva-center.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6787-6168
SPIN-code: 4289-0650

Clinical Psychologist

Russian Federation, Moscow

Sofia I. Timoshenko

Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Health

Email: TimoshenkoSI@suhareva-center.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9871-0550
SPIN-code: 8655-4435

Clinical Psychologist

Russian Federation, Moscow

Evgeniya S. Popil

Scientific and Practical Center for Mental Health of Children and Adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva of the Moscow Department of Health

Email: PopilES@suhareva-center.mos.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2446-557X
SPIN-code: 1829-4167

Clinical Psychologist

Russian Federation, Moscow

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