Study to investigate mental health and stress in frontline workers during COVID-19

24 JUNE 2020

Study to investigate mental health and stress in frontline workers during COVID-19

Charles Sturt academics lead team that received $30,000 to investigate to effect of mental health and stress on frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Charles Sturt academics head research project about mental health in frontline workers during COVID-19 pandemic
  • The project will identify nature of stressors due to COVID-19, measure levels of distress and anxiety in the workplace and best-practice leadership in times of crisis
  • This team of researchers received $30,000 of $200,000 offered by Charles Sturt for COVID-19 research projects

Charles Sturt University academics will conduct research into the mental health of people working on the frontline and in leadership roles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team of researchers have received $30,000 of the $200,000 in COVID-19-related research grant money allocated by the University.

The research participants include paramedics and police on a national level, family and community services on a state level, and community nurses from regional NSW.

The researchers intend to identify the nature and extent of work stressors associated with COVID-19, measure the levels of employee workplace distress and anxiety, and distil characteristics of good crisis leadership against crisis leadership theory.

Data will be collected via an online survey and researchers are hoping for between 3,000 and 10,000 participants.

The aim is to establish working relationships with key industry partners and use the findings to help support frontline workers to deliver essential public services in times of crisis.

Senior Lecturer in Marketing in the School of Management and Marketing in Albury-Wodonga Dr Abhishek Dwivedi (pictured) is one of the chief investigators and is responsible for the study’s research design and data analysis.

“In times of crisis, people look to leadership,” he said.

“From their leaders, people look for integrity, direction, support and clear communication.

“This research seeks to investigate the nature of the challenges experienced by frontline staff and the role of leadership in times of major service disruptions.”

The idea for the research topic is an ongoing focus of the Charles Sturt Workplace Wellness Research Unit and the University’s commitment to workplace wellness in general.

“This project will serve as a foundation for future industry-funded research, linkage and translation research grants,” Dr Dwivedi said.

“It may also assist Charles Sturt University in developing the future workforce in these professions, given we offer degrees in paramedicine, policing, social work, community health and nursing.”

Joining Dr Dwivedi on the research team from Charles Sturt University are:

Professor Peter O’Meara from Monash University is also on the research team and Ms Robyne Young from the Charles Sturt School of Management and Marketing will be providing research and administrative support.

The online questionnaires will be distributed in July, with a final report expected by Sunday 31 January 2021.

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or

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