The COVID-19 pandemic emotionally affected the lives of patients cared for in different settings. However, a comprehensive view of the whole experience as lived by survived patients, from the onset of the disease and over time, is substantially unknown to date. A descriptive qualitative design was implemented according to the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research. Adult patients (=1067) cared for during the first wave (March/April 2020) capable of answering an interview and willing to participate were interviewed (=397) by phone with an interview guide including open- and closed-ended questions. In this context, they were asked to summarise with a metaphor their entire COVID-19 experience at six months. Then, the emotional orientation (positive, neutral, or negative) of the metaphors expressed was identified. The participants were mainly female (206; 51.9%), with an average age of 52.6 years (CI 95% 50.4–53.6), reporting a mild severity of COVID-19 disease at the onset (261; 65.7%) and the perception of being completely healed (294; 70%) at six months. The patients summarised their experiences mainly using negative-oriented (248; 62.5%) metaphors; only 54 (13.6%) reported positive-oriented metaphors and a quarter (95; 23.95) neutral-oriented metaphors. Nearly all positive-oriented metaphors were reported by patients with symptoms at the onset (53; 98.1%), a significantly higher proportion compared to those reporting negative- (219; 88.3%) and neutral–oriented (78; 82.1%) metaphors (p = 0.014). While no other clinical features of the disease were associated, among females, significantly more negative-oriented metaphors emerged. Moreover, neutral-oriented metaphors were reported by younger patients (49.5 years, CI 95% 64.11–52.92) as compared to those negative and positive that were reported by more mature patients (53.9; CI 95% 52.04–55.93 and 54.8; CI9 5% 50.53–59.24, respectively) (p = 0.044). Nurses and healthcare services require data to predict the long-term needs of patients. Our findings suggest that, for many patients, the COVID-19 lived experience was negative over time.

One Word to Describe My Experience as a COVID-19 Survivor Six Months after Its Onset: Findings of a Qualitative Study

Palese, Alvisa;Gerussi, Valentina;Bontempo, Giulia;Graziano, Elena;Tascini, Carlo
2022

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic emotionally affected the lives of patients cared for in different settings. However, a comprehensive view of the whole experience as lived by survived patients, from the onset of the disease and over time, is substantially unknown to date. A descriptive qualitative design was implemented according to the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research. Adult patients (=1067) cared for during the first wave (March/April 2020) capable of answering an interview and willing to participate were interviewed (=397) by phone with an interview guide including open- and closed-ended questions. In this context, they were asked to summarise with a metaphor their entire COVID-19 experience at six months. Then, the emotional orientation (positive, neutral, or negative) of the metaphors expressed was identified. The participants were mainly female (206; 51.9%), with an average age of 52.6 years (CI 95% 50.4–53.6), reporting a mild severity of COVID-19 disease at the onset (261; 65.7%) and the perception of being completely healed (294; 70%) at six months. The patients summarised their experiences mainly using negative-oriented (248; 62.5%) metaphors; only 54 (13.6%) reported positive-oriented metaphors and a quarter (95; 23.95) neutral-oriented metaphors. Nearly all positive-oriented metaphors were reported by patients with symptoms at the onset (53; 98.1%), a significantly higher proportion compared to those reporting negative- (219; 88.3%) and neutral–oriented (78; 82.1%) metaphors (p = 0.014). While no other clinical features of the disease were associated, among females, significantly more negative-oriented metaphors emerged. Moreover, neutral-oriented metaphors were reported by younger patients (49.5 years, CI 95% 64.11–52.92) as compared to those negative and positive that were reported by more mature patients (53.9; CI 95% 52.04–55.93 and 54.8; CI9 5% 50.53–59.24, respectively) (p = 0.044). Nurses and healthcare services require data to predict the long-term needs of patients. Our findings suggest that, for many patients, the COVID-19 lived experience was negative over time.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1223854
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