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Article

The Health Behaviour of German Outpatient Caregivers in Relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study

1
Institute for Occupational and Maritime Medicine (ZfAM), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), 20459 Hamburg, Germany
2
Midwifery Science—Health Services Research and Prevention, Institute for Health Service Research in Dermatology and Nursing (IVDP), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), 20246 Hamburg, Germany
3
Department of Occupational Medicine, Hazardous Substances and Public Health, Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (BGW), 22089 Hamburg, Germany
4
Competence Center for Epidemiology and Health Services Research for Healthcare Professionals (CVcare), Institute for Health Services Research in Dermatology and Nursing (IVDP), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), 20246 Hamburg, Germany
5
Competence Center for Health Services Research in Vascular Diseases (CVvasc), Institute for Health Services Research in Dermatology and Nursing (IVDP), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), 20246 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this research.
Academic Editors: Rubén López-Bueno, Yasmín Ezzatvar, Guillermo Felipe López Sánchez and Lee Smith
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158213
Received: 11 June 2021 / Revised: 22 July 2021 / Accepted: 23 July 2021 / Published: 3 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Health-Related Behaviours during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected outpatient caregivers in a particular way. While the German population becomes increasingly older, the number of people in need of care has also increased. The health and, thus, the health behaviour of employees in the outpatient care become relevant to maintain working capacity and performance in the long term. The aims of the study were (1) to examine the health behaviour and (2) to explore pandemic-related perceived change of health behaviour among outpatient caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a mixed-methods study, 15 problem-centred interviews and a web-based cross-sectional survey (N = 171) were conducted with outpatient caregivers working in Northern Germany. Interviewees reported partially poorer eating behaviour, higher coffee consumption, lower physical activity, skipping breaks more often and less sleep duration and quality during the pandemic. Some quantitative findings indicate the same tendencies. A majority of participants were smokers and reported higher stress perception due to the pandemic. Preventive behaviour, such as wearing PPE or hand hygiene, was increased among interviewees compared to the pre-pandemic period. Our findings indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic could negatively affect outpatient caregivers’ health behaviour, e.g., eating/drinking behaviour and physical activity. Therefore, employers in outpatient care should develop workplace health promotion measures to support their employees in conducting more health-promoting behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; health behaviour; outpatient care; occupational health; eating behaviour; physical activity; ambulatory care; lifestyle COVID-19; pandemic; health behaviour; outpatient care; occupational health; eating behaviour; physical activity; ambulatory care; lifestyle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mojtahedzadeh, N.; Neumann, F.A.; Rohwer, E.; Nienhaus, A.; Augustin, M.; Harth, V.; Zyriax, B.-C.; Mache, S. The Health Behaviour of German Outpatient Caregivers in Relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8213. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158213

AMA Style

Mojtahedzadeh N, Neumann FA, Rohwer E, Nienhaus A, Augustin M, Harth V, Zyriax B-C, Mache S. The Health Behaviour of German Outpatient Caregivers in Relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):8213. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158213

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mojtahedzadeh, Natascha, Felix A. Neumann, Elisabeth Rohwer, Albert Nienhaus, Matthias Augustin, Volker Harth, Birgit-Christiane Zyriax, and Stefanie Mache. 2021. "The Health Behaviour of German Outpatient Caregivers in Relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 15: 8213. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158213

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