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"I'm at breaking point"; exploring pharmacists' resilience, coping and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic

Langran, C., Mantzourani, E. ORCID:, Hughes, L. ORCID:, Hall, K. and Willis, S. 2022. "I'm at breaking point"; exploring pharmacists' resilience, coping and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy 5 , 100104. 10.1016/j.rcsop.2022.100104

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Background There is a lack of evidence on how the multimodal dynamic process of resilience has impacted personal adaptation of frontline healthcare professionals, working under extreme pressure during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Objectives To explore resilience, burnout and wellbeing for UK pharmacists in patient-facing roles, including individual and organisational factors that align to the ABC-X theoretical model of the dynamic process of resilience. Methods A non-experimental pragmatist research design was adopted, with a cross-sectional online survey distributed via social media and professional networks between June and July 2020. Quantitative data aligned to a positivist research paradigm was collected using validated scores, to statistically analyse wellbeing, burnout and resilience. Qualitative textual data, consistent with an interpretivist research paradigm, were analysed following an inductive thematic approach. Results A total of 199 surveys from pharmacists working within community, hospital and GP sectors were analysed. Wellbeing scores were strongly correlated to resilience scores. Wellbeing and resilience scores were both inversely correlated with burnout scores. Two-thirds of participants were classified as high-risk within the burnout scales. Key stressors were highlighted by participants, who described how individual resources and perceptions shaped their experience, which overall contributed to their burnout. Organisations that supported pharmacists embraced change and quickly adopted new ways of working, such as teleconsultations, flexible and remote working, redesign of workflow, alongside clear guidance. However, there was also reported frustration at lack of, slow or conflicting guidance from employers. Conclusions This study adds to the growing evidence base for how individuals are affected by adverse events in a dynamic environment, alongside the role that employers can play in supporting individual and organisational resilience. It provides an opportunity to learn from pharmacists' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a call to action for healthcare organisations to rebuild and invest resources into sustained support for staff wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( 0/)
ISSN: 2667-2766
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 11 January 2022
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 22:18

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