Do You Work in a Healthcare Setting?

Researchers are Looking for Clinical and Non-Clinical Health Workers within the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria to Join the World’s Largest Rural Study Looking at the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health and Well-Being

Research Centres: Loddon Mallee Health Services and La Trobe University Rural Health School
Location: This is a virtual study within the Loddon Mallee Region, Victoria, Australia
Lead Researcher: Associate Professor Mark McEvoy
HREC: This study has been reviewed and approved by the Bendigo Health Human Research Ethics Committee and St John of God Human Research Ethics Committee

Background

The whole world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. People who work in a health setting (i.e. clinical and non-clinical staff) particularly those in rural and regional areas, have especially felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other pandemics and emerging disease outbreaks, the  COVID-19 pandemic is creating immense psychosocial disturbances. While the chunk of research is geared towards treatment and prevention, only a few studies focus on how the pandemic affects health and well-being. Researchers want to understand the impact of disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on physical, emotional, and mental health outcomes among health workers within health services located in the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria. 

This research study aims to understand and describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rural and regional clinical and non-clinical staff of the health workforce and the communities in which they live and work. First, this research will explore the current and long-term impacts of the pandemic. Second, researchers want to learn more about the preservation and resilience traits that health workers have developed that lead to better health outcomes. Lastly, this study will result in recommendations about how best to support rural and regional health workers when responding to significant disruptions in the future.

Interested participants must be currently working in, or associated with, a Loddon Mallee health service or organisation. They must be at least 18 years old and must be willing to accept the necessary study requirements. 

Why Participate? 

  • You will contribute valuable information that will improve the understanding of the pandemic’s effects on health workers. This may benefit health workers in the future by providing better response efforts.
  • You will receive a personalised health and well-being report during the study.
  • In appreciation for your contribution, you will be entered into a random draw to win a $1000 grocery card.
  • You will be helping to advance this COVID-related research study.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you may withdraw at any time.
  • Your records relating to this study and any other information received will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by the law.
  • You will be sent a report on your health and well-being during the study, as applicable.

Who Can Participate?

  • Individuals aged 18 years or older who are working in, or are associated with, a Loddon Mallee health setting (this is anyone in a clinical or non-clinical role).

What does participation involve?

  • Participating in this study involves completing an online questionnaire and follow-up questionnaires every 6 months for the next 3 years. There will be 5 follow-up questionnaires in total. In addition, there will be shorter optional questionnaires at 9 and 15 months. 
    • The first questionnaire will take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete, but subsequent questionnaires will be shorter. The study team understands that this is slightly longer than most questionnaires but it is necessary to collect as much information as possible as the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be the largest uniform threat that we will see in our lifetime and it is essential to understand how it fully impacts health workers. Participants will be able to save the questionnaire at any time, take a rest, and return to complete it at another time before submitting it.

About the Research Centres Involved:

This study is a collaboration between 24 health services of the Loddon Mallee region (Victoria) in addition to La Trobe University Rural Health School.  These services include hospitals, community health centres and other health settings such as GP practices and pharmacies. The health services conducting this research are aiming to develop an intervention that will lead to increasing resilience for health workers in rural areas facing periods of disruption such as the COVID pandemic. Their researchers work in partnership with community groups, industry, and government to create opportunities and address issues of local, national, and international importance.

Please note:

Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the study team would like to note the following:

  • This is a virtual study which means you can participate in the comfort of your own home. 
  • There will be no in-person visits or clinic appointments in this study.
  • In this study, there is no need to have close interactions with any person.

What’s Next?

  1. Click the link to enter your contact details
  2. Take the brief screening questionnaire to determine your eligibility for the study
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for This Study