Psychological first aid for workers in care and nursing homes: Systematic review

Mariyana Schoultz*, Claire McGrogan, Michelle Beattie, Leah Macaden, Clare Carolan, Rob Polson, Geoffrey Dickens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: The Covid-19 pandemic has produced unprecedented challenges across all aspects of health and social care sectors globally. Nurses and healthcare workers in care homes have been particularly impacted due to rapid and dramatic changes to their job roles, workloads, and working environments, and residents’ multimorbidity. Developed by the World Health Organisation, Psychological First Aid (PFA) is a brief training course delivering social, emotional, supportive, and pragmatic support that can reduce the initial distress after disaster and foster future adaptive functioning. 

Objectives: This review aimed to synthesise findings from studies exploring the usefulness of PFA for the well-being of nursing and residential care home staff. 

Methods: A systematic search was conducted across 15 databases (Social Care Online, Kings Fund Library, Prospero, Dynamed, BMJ Best Practice, SIGN, NICE, Ovid, Proquest, Campbell Library, Clinical Trials, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Ebsco CINAHL, and Cochrane Library), identifying peer-reviewed articles published in English language from database inception to 20th June 2021. 

Results: Of the 1,159 articles screened, 1,146 were excluded at title and abstract; the remaining 13 articles were screened at full text, all of which were then excluded. 

Conclusion: This review highlights that empirical evidence of the impact of PFA on the well-being of nursing and residential care home staff is absent. PFA has likely been recommended to healthcare staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. The lack of evidence found here reinforces the urgent need to conduct studies which evaluates the outcomes of PFA particularly in the care home staff population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number96
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • care homes
  • care staff
  • COVID-19
  • Nursing homes
  • PFA
  • psychological first aid
  • systematic review


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychological first aid for workers in care and nursing homes: Systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this