A randomised optimisation study of a brief digital imagery-competing task intervention to support NHS ICU staff experiencing intrusive memories of traumatic events from working in the COVID-19 pandemic
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Description: Intensive care unit (ICU) staff are frequently exposed to traumatic events at work (e.g., witnessing patients die), amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant proportion experience intrusive memories of these events that pop suddenly into mind: these imagery-based memories can disrupt functioning and contribute to posttraumatic stress disorder. Previous research has shown that a brief behavioural intervention can reduce the number of intrusive memories after a traumatic event. In this study we aim to optimise a brief digital intervention to help reduce the number of intrusive memories experienced by ICU staff (primary outcome). We will explore if it can improve work functioning and wellbeing (secondary outcomes). We have enrolled approximately 106 and randomised 86 ICU staff with intrusive memories of events experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study is funded by the Wellcome Trust (223016/Z/21/Z).