Review: COVID-19: Peer support and crisis communication strategies to promote institutional resilience

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Review: COVID-19: Peer support and crisis communication strategies to promote institutional resilience

Review: COVID-19: Peer support and crisis communication strategies to promote institutional resilience

This commentary summarizes lessons learned from previous pandemics and provides consensus on best practices for fostering an organizational culture of resilience during COVID-19.

Because health care providers have shown signs of acute psychological stress, burnout, and posttraumatic stress while caring for COVID-19 patients, it is important for health care organizations to support the mental health of its staff. The authors recommend three strategic principles for health care organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Provide leadership focused on resilience
  • Structure crisis communication to provide information and empowerment
  • Create a continuum of staff support within the organization

Effective crisis management provides a clear, optimistic vision and realistic plan; takes decisive action; and facilitates open, honest, and frequent communication. Leaders should present the most up-to-date information to reduce anxiety. Still, it is important to normalize anxious feelings and encourage their expression, advocate for personal wellness, and identify support resources. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future; therefore, leaders should enhance well-being and resilience of health care workers, which will then enhance organizational cohesion and reduce adverse effects for staff.

|2020-06-30T11:39:37-04:00June 30th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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