The acceptability and effectiveness of a tele-medicine based approach to offering psychosocial support to frontline healthcare workers during the covid-19 pandemic in Kenya


 Prof Mathai Muthoni. Associate Professor: Department of Psychiatry, CHS, UON

Tel- 0727329904, Email-,


Department of Psychiatry. SOM

Prof Obondo  Anne A; B.A Sociology; Master’s in social work; Ph.D.- Chair department of Psychiatry

Dr. Khasakhala Lincoln; MBChB., MSc Clin. Psych., PhD- Lecturer

Dr Anne W Mbwayo; B.Ed., Clinic Psych., PhD – Lecturer (Phert Fellow)

Dr Mutavi Teresia; BA. Social Work; MA Sociology;PhD- Lecturer

Dr Gitau Catherine; MBBS, MMed (Psychiatry)- Tutorial fellow (Phert Fellow)

Musyoka M. Catherine; BA. Couns Psych; MSc Clinic Psych; PhD-on going- Carta Fellow

Dr Araka Neema;        MBCHB- Registrar Psychiatry

School of nursing

Prof Karani Anne;  BSc. Nursing, M.A Communication, PhD Nursing

Kenyatta University College

Maingi Lydiah W., B.Ed. Home Econ;  M.A. Couns Psych; PhD. Lecturer Kenyatta University College. (Phert Fellow)

Ministry of Health

Mghoi Matilda; B. Sc Nursing;           MSc Clinic Psych UON- Ministry of Health – Division of Mental health

Kenyatta National Hospital

Dr Ian Kanyanya. Consultant Psychiatrist, Head of department of Mental Health KNH

Dr David Bukusi. Consultant Psychiatrist, Head of Youth Clinic

Introduction and Background

In the history of humankind, infectious disease pandemics (IDP) have been documented over regular intervals. There has been the Spanish flu 1918, Ebola Haemorrhagic fever,  Zika, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) have been reported in the recent past. These outbreaks and pandemics of diseases, place burden and stress on the healthcare workers. This stress stems from the influx of a large number of patients who seek treatment at the health facilities, which leads to work overload and long shifts. Furthermore, there is also the fear of contracting the disease and succumbing to it.


This study seeks to evaluate the usefulness of providing telemedicine-based psychosocial support to health workers who are at risk of experiencing psychological distress in the process of managing patients with or at risk of COVID-19 viral infection.

Specific Objectives

1.   To establish the prevalence of depressive symptoms among healthcare providers

2.   To determine the prevalence of anxiety among health care providers.

           3. To identify the vicarious stress levels among the health care providers

4.   To evaluate the acceptability and effectiveness of a remote- online group support intervention to alleviate the psychological symptoms among the participants

5.   To Explore the prevailing fears and coping strategies employed by the health providers 


This will be a quasi-experimental study that will employ pre and post-test research design. Healthcare workers from three public and one private hospital will receive telemedicine-based psychological support. All healthcare workers in these hospitals who are offering services to patients infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS Cov 2 who consent to the study, will be enrolled to participate.

Both Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected. Qualitative data will be collected using a researcher designed interview guide. While quantitative data will be collected using the  Impact of Event Scale (IES-R), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9), Generalised Disorder Anxiety scale (GADS). Group intervention will be offered online in two phases: Acute intervention using  Psychological first aid (PFA) and Self-care accountability groups for maintenance. Data will be collected at baseline and follow up will be done after 3 weeks, 4 months and 8 months post-intervention.