Covid 19 proved to be the greatest public health challenge to health services across the World since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1921. It’s also no surprise, therefore, that there were numerous reports of how stressed nurses and other clinicians were as they worked to treat and support patients with COVID both prior to and during the ‘lockdown’ measures in February and March 2020 across many countries. Now, more than two years since lock down measures were implemented and with the pandemic relatively better managed, the SSTeMM project decided to review current published research to identify the degree to which the nature of stress experienced by clinicians had changed and, more particularly, what new stressors, if any, were emerging post pandemic. To answer these questions the SSTeMM team undertook a systematic review of the literature published between 2020 and 2022.
Overall, the SSTeMM Project found that a new sources of stress for health professionals is the spread of misinformation amongst the general combined with the lack of preparedness on the part of governments and organisations to support clinicians when doing their work. With the likelihood that major public health emergencies will increase due to climate change, the SSTeMM project recommends that governments and health services need to put in place measures to counter misinformation about health care professionals and to ensure that they are significantly supported with appropriate resources.