An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis Exploring the Experiences of Mental Health Practitioners Working in UAE during COVID-19

Conference: The Asian Undergraduate Research Symposium (AURS2021)
Title: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis Exploring the Experiences of Mental Health Practitioners Working in UAE during COVID-19
Stream: Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences
Presentation Type: Virtual Poster Presentation
Authors:
Massa Zarka, Middlesex University Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Abstract:

The COVID-19 outbreak introduced with it a mental health crisis globally due to the excessive stress and the nature of social isolation (Choi et al., 2020). Mental health practitioners (MHPs) are continuously exposed to clients’ traumatic realities, and with an added global crisis, like COVID-19, MHPs may become at risk of experiencing increased workloads and shared realities (Werner et al., 2020). Efficient coping strategies become a core practice for MHPs to prevent the severe impact of stress (Posluns, & Gall, 2020). The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and coping strategies of MHPs, in the UAE, during COVID-19. The study explored two research questions; how do MHPs describe their experiences during the global crisis? And how do MHPs cope with their negative experiences? The experiences were explored using interpretive phenomenological analysis of five semi-structured online interviews. All participants were MHPs with work experience during the pandemic in the UAE. The analysis revealed three super-ordinate themes: the personal impacts were worries about their families and personal discomforts, which lead to increased self-care; the professional struggles were limitations on practice, increased workload, and a need to disconnect; and their methods of adapting were increased compassion, a sense of empowerment, and deepened community spirit. The conclusions from this study provided insights into the aspects of shared realities experienced by MHPs practitioners during the pandemic. They also create evidence for the implementation of future preventative measures against MHPs’ distress during similar crises.



Virtual Presentation



Virtual Poster Presentation

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