PhD Thesis Defense: Linda McGoldrick | The Importance of Mental Health and Resilience Training for Frontline Healthcare Workers from Three Global Regions

Thursday, October 5, 2023
12:00 pm

United States

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Faculty Advisor:

Karen Oates, PhD, Professor of Biology & Biotechnology

Dissertation Committee:

Sharon Johnson, PhD, Professor of Operations and Industrial Engineering
Jean King, PhD, Dean of Arts & Sciences
Mary Pittman, PhD, President and CEO of Public Health Institute, External Advisor

Title: The Importance of Mental Health and Resilience Training for Frontline Healthcare Workers from Three Global Regions


The training of frontline healthcare workers in mental health and resilience is in response to the global demand for guidance, education, and clinical support. The COVID-19 crisis underscored the necessity for an effective mental health and resilience program in hospitals and major institutions worldwide.

The aim of this research is to evaluate the levels of knowledge and resulting behavioral  changes in healthcare workers, before and after MH&R training, specifically healthcare workers in three regions, represented by three countries: Southeast Asia (SEA), represented by the Philippines, South America/Latin America, represented by Ecuador, and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), represented by Bosnia and Herzegovina, formerly part of the country known as “Yugoslavia.”

The summary data collected and analyzed confirmed across all categories, irrespective of gender, actionable knowledge gained. Surveys indicated trainees most valued learning how best to handle stress in the context of burnout by building resilience. Research over all three regions indicated level of stigma as an issue impeding the use of mental health programs. This and other issues primarily referring to burnout and the need for methods to build resilience underscore the global necessity for mental healthcare programs such as the training in the three countries of focus.

PhD Candidate Linda McGoldrick is an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Candidate at the WPI School of Business. She earned a BA in Sociology degree at Ohio Wesleyan University, a Master of Social Work in Healthcare (MSW) at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA in Finance and Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Linda studied biology at Sussex University, in the UK as part of her BA and served as a Faculty Fellow at the King’s Fund, UK. Linda is an international business policy consultant in the healthcare and life sciences industries based in Boston and London.