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Article

Telephone Emergency Service 142 (TelefonSeelsorge) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Survey among Counselors in Austria

1
Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health, Danube University Krems, 3500 Krems, Austria
2
ABILE-Viktor Frankl Education Austria, 3390 Melk, Austria
3
Telephone Emergency Service—Lower Austria (TelefonSeelsorge NÖ), Diocese St. Pölten, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas Volken and Annina Zysset
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052228
Received: 1 February 2021 / Revised: 19 February 2021 / Accepted: 19 February 2021 / Published: 24 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Pandemics: Impact on Health Care and Health Care Professions)
Telephone emergency services play an important role in providing low-threshold, anonymous crisis intervention free of cost. The current study aims to examine the mental well-being and perceived stress level of counselors as well as the main topics of helpline callers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria. In the current study, 374 counselors were recruited within the Austrian nationwide organization TelefonSeelsorge during the second wave of COVID-19 infection in Austria. The mental well-being (WHO-5) and perceived stress-level (PSS-10) were assessed and counselors were asked about the frequency of different topics thematized by callers and changes compared to pre-pandemic times. Compared to a reference group of the Austrian general population, counselors experienced less stress (13.22 vs. 16.42) and higher mental well-being (66.26 vs. 57.36; p < 0.001). The most frequent topics during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria were loneliness and mental health. More calls were registered in 2020 compared to 2019 and especially the topics loneliness, mental health, professional activities and relationships were reported to be thematized more often during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the time before (p < 0.001). The results contribute to an understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on telephone crisis intervention. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; counseling; helpline; loneliness; stress; volunteers; well-being COVID-19; counseling; helpline; loneliness; stress; volunteers; well-being
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MDPI and ACS Style

Humer, E.; Pieh, C.; Probst, T.; Kisler, I.-M.; Schimböck, W.; Schadenhofer, P. Telephone Emergency Service 142 (TelefonSeelsorge) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Survey among Counselors in Austria. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2228. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052228

AMA Style

Humer E, Pieh C, Probst T, Kisler I-M, Schimböck W, Schadenhofer P. Telephone Emergency Service 142 (TelefonSeelsorge) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Survey among Counselors in Austria. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(5):2228. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052228

Chicago/Turabian Style

Humer, Elke, Christoph Pieh, Thomas Probst, Ida-Maria Kisler, Wolfgang Schimböck, and Petra Schadenhofer. 2021. "Telephone Emergency Service 142 (TelefonSeelsorge) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Survey among Counselors in Austria" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 5: 2228. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052228

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