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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 62-68

“Psychological consequences and coping strategies of patients undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at a tertiary care hospital”: A qualitative study

Department of Psychiatry, Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Manjiri Chaitanya Datar
Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/shb.shb_5_21

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Introduction: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a global threat and has affected physical as well as mental health adversely. There had been an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in India from May to October 2020. Isolation, hospitalization, and stigmatization were significant issues in COVID-19 crisis. The literature is sparse on the mental health effects on hospitalized COVID-19 patients. This study aimed to describe the psychological consequences and coping strategies of COVID-19 patients admitted to tertiary health-care hospital. The objectives were (1) to assess the psychological consequences in COVID-19 patients admitted to our hospital, (2) to assess the coping strategies in these COVID-19 patients, and (3) to find correlations of sociodemographic characteristics, psychological consequences, and coping strategies of these COVID-19 patients. Methods: In this cross-sectional qualitative study, 100 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 infection participated. In-depth interviews were conducted using semi-structured questionnaire. The narratives were coded into themes and correlations of variables generated were done using Chi-square test. Results: The most common themes about the psychological state of patients were loneliness and isolation (56%), adjustment issues in the hospital (54%), and concerns about family members (32%). Patients who had family members also suffering from COVID-19 illness (24%) had more concerns about their health (Chi-square 25.209, P = 0.00) and had worries of their future (Chi-square 7.023, P = 0.008). Females had more worries about family members (Chi-square 16.295, P = 0.00) and had more concerns about their own health (Chi-square 5.71, P = 0.01). The most common coping strategies used by patients were digital communication with family members (82%), distraction (58%), and communicating with other co-patients (30%) to deal with their psychological distress. Conclusion: COVID-19 infection leads to psychological distress due to multiple factors. Timely interventions with support for effective coping mechanisms can help in alleviating the distress.

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