Thursday, April 16, 2020

Harnessing Resiliency Said to Be Key Path Forward From COVID-19

During the era of COVID-19, health care workers and organizations must be deliberate about promoting resilience, wrote Abby R. Rosenberg, M.D., M.S., M.A., of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle in an article published in JAMA Pediatrics.

“The potential for resilience is not a unique trait that one has or does not have; the capacity for resilience is inherent in all people,” she wrote. “Resilience is neither lucky nor passive. It takes deliberate effort. Indeed, while resilience researchers have quibbled over nuanced definitions and requirements for resilience, they agree that it can be strengthened with practice.”

Health care workers and organizations should harness what Rosenberg refers to as “resilience resources”: individual (personal characteristics and skills), community (social supports and sense of connection), and existential (sense of meaning and purpose).

Rosenberg described ways individual health care workers might bolster resiliency by setting short-term goals for working from home or self-care after a stressful day on the hospital ward. For organizations, it may involve “deliberately celebrating systems-level steps toward shared community goals, such as evidence that local social distancing practices are beginning to flatten the curve,” she wrote.

To bolster community resiliency, professionals and organizations could work to develop connections via frequent video conferences and communication of COVID-19 policies.

To strengthen existential resiliency requires finding ways to continue to develop a sense of meaning and purpose. “[P]rofessionals and organizations might deliberately consider the value of their contributions; appreciate experiences, people, and things for which they are grateful; or ground themselves by recalling their missions to help vulnerable populations,” Rosenberg wrote.

“So, let us now be proactive,” she concluded. “Let us imagine our future narrative and direct ourselves toward its end. Let us harness our individual, community, and existential resources so that we not only navigate this experience but also continue to thrive.”

(Image: iStock/Juanmonino)

APA’s COVID-19 Resource Center Keeps You Updated

APA’s COVID-19 Resource Center brings together a number of useful resources from APA and other authoritative sources to help you deal with the COVID-19.


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