Occupational stress, coping and wellbeing among registered psychologists working with people with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom

Peter E. Langdon, Magdalena Marczak, Clair Clifford, Paul Willner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To characterise the changes at work experienced by psychologists working with people with intellectual disabilities during the pandemic and whether these changes, stressors and aspects of working life were associated with mental wellbeing and occupational stress.

Methods: Ninety-seven psychologists completed an online survey. Free text comments were analysed using thematic analysis and triangulated with our quantitative findings.

Results: Occupational stress, learning new roles, demands at home, and changes due to COVID-19 were associated with poorer mental wellbeing, while uncertainty about the role, a shortage of personal protective equipment, and poorer mental wellbeing were associated with occupational stress. Two main themes emerged during the thematic analysis: being human and being an employee, and triangulation revealed agreement.

Conclusions: The wellbeing and occupational stress of psychologists working with people with intellectual disabilities have been affected during the pandemic. It is of note that almost a quarter of our sample reported having been redeployed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability
Issue number3
Early online date28 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2022


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • intellectual disabilities
  • learning disabilities
  • mental health
  • neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • psychologist

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