Nature and extent of disruptions to staff clinical supervision practices in health care settings due to COVID-19: A survey study

Article


Martin, Priya, Argus, Geoff, Fox, Jordan, Gurney, Tiana, McGrail, Matthew, Kumar, Saravana and Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, Srinivas. 2023. "Nature and extent of disruptions to staff clinical supervision practices in health care settings due to COVID-19: A survey study." Australian Journal of Rural Health. 31 (5), pp. 1008-1016. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.13036
Article Title

Nature and extent of disruptions to staff clinical supervision practices in health care settings due to COVID-19: A survey study

ERA Journal ID13436
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMartin, Priya, Argus, Geoff, Fox, Jordan, Gurney, Tiana, McGrail, Matthew, Kumar, Saravana and Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, Srinivas
Journal TitleAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Journal Citation31 (5), pp. 1008-1016
Number of Pages9
Year2023
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1038-5282
1440-1584
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.13036
Web Address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ajr.13036
Abstract

Objective
To investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical supervision practices of health care workers in health care settings in one Australian state.

Method
A bespoke survey was developed and administered online using Qualtrics™. The survey consisted of Likert scale and closed questions, with options for free text comments. Numerical data were analysed descriptively and using Chi-Square tests. Textual data were analysed through content analysis.

Results
Of the 178 survey respondents, 42% were from allied health disciplines, 39% from nursing and midwifery, and 19% from medicine. The type and mode (i.e., face-to-face, telesupervision) of clinical supervision prior to the pandemic and at the time of survey completion (i.e., July–August 2021) were similar. Eighteen percent of respondents had a change in supervision arrangements but only 5% had a change in supervisor. For the 37% who changed roles due to COVID-19, 81% felt their current supervisor was still able to support them, 69% were still having their supervisory needs met. Analyses of textual data resulted in the development of two categories: Supervision deteriorating, and some clinical supervision functions (i.e., formative and restorative) being more impacted than others (i.e., normative).

Conclusion
There were substantial disruptions to several parameters of clinical supervision due to COVID-19, that may pose a threat to high quality supervision. Health care workers reported pandemic-induced stress and mental health challenges that were not always addressed by effective restorative supervision practices.

Keywordsclinical supervision; COVID-19 pandemic; health care worker
ANZSRC Field of Research 20204203. Health services and systems
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Queensland
Darling Downs Health, Australia
School of Psychology and Wellbeing
University of South Australia
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