The Role of Psychologists in Healthcare During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future

Maria Karekla, Stefan Höfer, Anne Plantade-gipch, David Dias Neto, Borrik Schjødt, Daniel David, Christopher Schütz, Androula Elepftheriou, Petra Klastová Pappová, Koen Lowet, Lance Mccracken, Rūta Sargautytė, Julia Scharnhorst, Jo Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted individuals, communities, and whole populations. Experts across many different fields contributed their time and efforts in different ways to respond to the pandemic. Psychologists working in healthcare provided support and led many initiatives, both regionally and nationally. However, it is unknown how this has differed across Europe and its full range of activities and contributions. Aim: The current study is a survey of European member associations of EFPA, carried out to understand the current contributions and the impact those psychology contributions have had on the COVID-19 pandemic response, to share lessons learned, and to propose a roadmap for the future. Results: Overall, our study highlights how psychological expertise was integrated into many countries’ policy/decision-making, action-planning, caregiving, and the promotion of health and well-being to health professionals and the general public. Even in places where psychologists were not directly integrated into governmental systems, they played an important role in responding to this pandemic by providing their services and empirical knowledge. Discussion: Many psychologists possess the skills and tools to adapt their practice to the digital provision of services and to provide a continuity of care during the pandemic. Research carried out by psychologists has contributed important and new knowledge on pandemic effects, consequences, and interventions; yet, more research financial support is needed. We make recommendations for augmenting psychologists’ contributions in the future. In a global health crisis, where the main possible treatment is a preventive approach concentrated on sustainable behavior change, psychologists should be included every step of the way – they can make a difference.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology Open
Early online date4 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'The Role of Psychologists in Healthcare During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this