University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Stress and Coping in IAPT Staff: A Mixed Methods Study

Walklet, Elaine and Percy, C. (2014) Stress and Coping in IAPT Staff: A Mixed Methods Study. Applied Psychological Research Journal, 1 (2). pp. 15-25. ISSN 2057-570X

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Background: Research indicates National Health Service (NHS) mental health workers have particularly high levels of stress. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is an NHS mental health service with new ways of working. Aims: This exploratory study sought to investigate whether IAPT staff experience high levels of stress and, moreover, identify sources of stress and ways of coping.
Method: A mixed methods design was utilised. Forty four IAPT workers completed a quantitative survey in which prevalence of stress (GHQ-12) and dispositional coping styles (COPE) were measured. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 6 staff and analysed using thematic analysis.
Results: Almost 30% of IAPT staff reached criteria for minor psychiatric morbidity. Identified stressors included high volume and target orientated work, constant change, resource issues, team dynamics, demands of high stakes in-service training, managing and holding distress and risk, and home-work conflict. Greater engagement in acceptance and active coping styles related to lower stress, whereas focusing on and venting emotions related to higher stress.
Conclusions: Stress is an issue for IAPT staff, with newly reported stressors including emphasis on targets and high stakes in-service training. Interventions aimed at promoting acceptance and active coping may be beneficial.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Stress, Coping, IAPT, Mental health workers, Mixed methods
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
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Copyright Info: Open Access Journal
Depositing User: Elaine Walklet
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 16:14
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:09

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