“Did you bring it home with you?” A qualitative investigation of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Victorian frontline healthcare workers and their families

Jade Sheen, Elizabeth M. Clancy, Julie Considine, Alison Dwyer, Phillip Tchernegovski, Anna Aridas, Brian En Chyi Lee, Andrea Reupert, Leanne Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns regarding the physical and mental health impacts of frontline healthcare roles during the COVID-19 pandemic have been well documented, but the impacts on family functioning remain unclear. This study provides a unique contribution to the literature by considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on frontline healthcare workers and their families. Thirty-nine frontline healthcare workers from Victoria, Australia, who were parents to at least one child under 18 were interviewed. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Five superordinate and 14 subordinate themes were identified. Themes included more family time during lockdowns, but at a cost; changes in family responsibilities and routines; managing increased demands; healthcare workers hypervigilance and fear of bringing COVID-19 home to their family members; ways in which families worked to “get through it”. While efforts have been made by many healthcare organisations to support their workers during this challenging time, the changes in family functioning observed by participants suggest that more could be done for this vulnerable cohort, particularly with respect to family support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4897
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • family functioning
  • frontline
  • healthcare worker
  • pandemic

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