Exploring COVID-19 patients' experiences of psychological distress during the disease course: a qualitative study

Toulabi, Tahereh and Veiskramian, Atefeh and Heydari, Heshmatolah and Jafari Pour, Fatemeh (2021) Exploring COVID-19 patients' experiences of psychological distress during the disease course: a qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry.

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Background: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging disease with many unknown clinical and therapeutic dimensions. Patients with COVID-19 experience a variety of psychological problems during the disease. Understanding patients' mental condition and their distress during the disease is the first step to help these patients. So, the aim of this study was to explain COVID-19 patients' experiences of psychological distress during the disease course. Methods: The present qualitative research was conducted in Iran from April 2020 to April 2021 using the conventional content analysis method. The participants included patients with COVID-19, selected by the purposeful sampling method. Data was collected through 34 telephone and in-person interviews and analyzed based on the method proposed by Lundman and Graneheim. Results: Qualitative data analysis led to the emergence of sources of psychological distress as the main theme as well as seven categories and seven sub-categories. The categories were the disease's nature (the subcategories of disease's unknown dimensions, and disease severity), the anxiety caused by preventive behaviors (the subcategories of quarantine, worry about transmitting the infection to others and obsessive thoughts related to disinfection measures), the inefficient management by the health system (the subcategories of poor health care condition and lack of spiritual care), death anxiety, stigma, anxiety after recovery, and sleep pattern disturbance. Conclusion: Patients with COVID-19 experience great psychological distress during the acute phase of the disease or even long after recovery. It is suggested that psychological and spiritual counseling, as a key element of treatment and support for these patients, is provided to patients in the acute phase of the disease, as well as after recovery. National and local media should boost awareness about the disease as a dangerous yet preventable and curable infectious disease. People should follow health instructions and leave their seeing the disease as a taboo.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: samira sepahvandy
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 06:17
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2021 06:17
URI: http://eprints.lums.ac.ir/id/eprint/3468

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