UBC Theses and Dissertations
Mental health and happiness of healthcare workers : narrative review, realist review, and proposed study design Gray, Patricia
Introduction: Healthcare workers experience high rates of mental ill health such as burnout, stress and depression, due to workplace conditions including excessive workloads, workplace violence and bullying. Based on the significant burden of mental ill health in the healthcare workforce as well as the recognized need for research on how to promote mental health in the workplace, this thesis aims to synthesize the state of knowledge in this area and chart future research that would be useful to provide further evidence-based insight on ways to promote mental health of healthcare workers. Methods: This thesis comprises three components needed to advance knowledge in this field: a narrative review on the mental health of healthcare workers, a realist review on workplace-based interventions to promote mental wellbeing among healthcare workers, and a detailed proposal for a three-phased cluster randomized controlled trial to develop and evaluate workplace-based interventions to promote mental wellbeing among healthcare workers in Gauteng, South Africa. Results: The narrative review affirmed the significant burden of mental ill health among healthcare workers and the need for workplace-based solutions to improve the current situation. In addition, the narrative review highlighted the growing recognition and adoption of positive mental health constructs such as happiness while also highlighting the complexity and challenges involved in workplace-based health promotion. Similarly, the realist review highlighted the complexities of both mental health in the workplace and the implementation and evaluation of workplace-based interventions, as well as issues of sustainability, the importance of employee engagement, and challenges around aligning organizational-level factors to affect change in individuals’ mental health. Lastly, the proposed study presents a comprehensive approach to designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating workplace-based interventions to promote mental wellbeing among a diverse and distributed healthcare workforce. Discussion: With healthcare workers experiencing significant mental ill health in various professions, countries and settings around the world, there is an urgent need to test and evaluate workplace-based interventions to promote mental wellbeing within this sector. In particular, more research from low- and middle-income countries is needed, as well as more research on organizational-level changes that can be done to improve healthcare workers’ mental wellbeing.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International