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Evaluating the effectiveness of resilience-building training within the national health service in the UK

Nicole Horton (Nicole Horton is based at Wilcox Psychological Associates, Birmingham, UK)
Mike Drayton (Mike Drayton is based at Opus Performance Ltd, Birmingham, UK)
Daniel Thomas Wilcox (Nicole Horton is based at Wilcox Psychological Associates, Birmingham, UK)
Harriet Dymond (Daniel Thomas Wilcox is based at Wilcox Psychological Associates, Birmingham, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 17 May 2022

Issue publication date: 20 September 2022

214

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the use of an innovative resilience-building training programme delivered to NHS Safeguarding Leads and other participating professionals over a five-month period concluding in March 2019. The developers used knowledge and expertise in both the fields of psychology and drama-based learning to promote comprehension, retention and a capacity for using and conveying these strategies to other health-care workers.

Design/methodology/approach

Attendees were given pre- and post-questionnaires to examine the effectiveness of the training in terms of understanding the stages of burnout, developing an awareness of personal risk factors that may be associated with potential burnout and their perceptions of the confidence they have in both evaluating their personal resilience and using acquired skills and coping techniques that they may apply to their personal and professional lives. A Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test was administered, to assess the significance of the difference between pre- and post-training scores.

Findings

Following the training, participants reported statistically significant improvements relating to their understanding of terms, including “burnout”. They also reported an increased awareness of their personal risk factors associated with burnout and felt more resilient having completed the training. Statistically significant changes were reported in all of these areas, with the drama element of the training being commended on about one third of all feedback forms where, with the post-test results, a narrative (unscored) opportunity for feedback was sought.

Research limitations/implications

The authors note that a long-term follow-up of retention and use of this training was not undertaken, though they consider that, post-pandemic, this necessary training can be reinitiated and that, as with other professional initiatives, video-engagement technology may be, through innovative efforts, merged with these effective training techniques as an option for future training applications.

Practical implications

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this training programme was the first of its kind to use a psychologically underpinned drama-based didactic approach to build resilience and protect against burnout. The results of this paper show that this training used an effective and efficient medium for successfully meeting these primary objectives.

Social implications

It is considered that using a similar training approach would be effective in building resilience and preventing burnout in health-care professionals.

Originality/value

This paper evaluates the effectiveness of an innovative resilience-building training programme drawing upon the field of psychology and drama-based learning to support safeguarding professionals within the NHS.

Keywords

Citation

Horton, N., Drayton, M., Wilcox, D.T. and Dymond, H. (2022), "Evaluating the effectiveness of resilience-building training within the national health service in the UK", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 538-549. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-05-2021-0048

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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