COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multisystemic Approach to Address Family and Healthcare Provider Challenges
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to have pervasive impacts on all aspects of family life. Some of these impacts are drastically increasing as reports across the world are sounding the alarm about the upcoming post-COVID mental health pandemic. In a March 11th, 2021 interview, Dr. Fauci spoke of the “long-term ravages” that are ahead of us. These ravages (e.g., poor mental health across the lifespan, physical health declines due to delaying preventable services, and prolonged symptomology for those who have had COVID-19) are likely the outcomes of prolonged stress and mental anguish. These physical and mental health consequences will increasingly present themselves in healthcare settings. Using a multi-systemic and family-oriented lens, this presentation emphasizes the evolving interplay of public health pandemic challenges and mitigation strategies with individual and family processes. We highlight individual and family challenges with ongoing myriad COVID-19 uncertainties in the evolving phases of the pandemic/post-pandemic. These challenges include: (a) long-term COVID-19 health and cognitive complications (“long-haulers”); (b) communication issues amongst family members, and with healthcare providers; (c) issues that arise from divergent family member perspectives and beliefs about COVID-19 risk based on different historical, cultural, political, and ideological filters; (d) issues with loss and bereavement, racial injustice, and socioeconomic disparities; and (e) issues that arise from the prolonged exposure to stressors faced by healthcare teammates. Through the intervention of family-centered consultation, this discussion will offer strategies for addressing the nuanced and lingering biopsychosocial-spiritual impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on individuals and families. Special consideration will be given to the oftentimes unaddressed and invisible impacts the pandemic has had on healthcare providers and their own families. In a post-pandemic world, consideration needs to be given to all relational systems that come into contact with the public health, and healthcare sectors.
1: Enable HCPs to apply a multisystemic family-oriented approach to the ongoing COVID-19 related BPS-S challenges of patients and their families.
2: Enable HCP’s to consider issues that can arise from divergent family member perspectives about COVID-19 (risk, beliefs, anti-science).
3: Enable HCP’s to consider the impact of the pandemic on their own families and how it might inform their clinical work.