Hana Maizuliana Solehan¹, Nurul Azmawati Mohamed¹, Mohd Dzulkhairi Mohd Rani¹, Muslimah Ithnin¹
Objectives. COVID-19 not only affects physical health, but also causes significant impact to psychosocial wellbeing. Hence, it is important to understand the emotional and psychological experience of COVID-19 patients. The objective of this study is to explore the psychological experience among the public when they were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Methods. This cross-sectional study was done using a qualitative survey approach. The survey was conducted online via Google Form platform asking open-ended questions among patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The link to the online form was disseminated through social media and messaging applications from 1st March to 30th April 2021. Malaysian adult respondents with a history of positive COVID-19 were invited to share their experience, emotions and feelings dealing with the disease. The data was analyzed using The Colaizzi method.
Results. Ninety-five responses were received. Majority were female (76.8%) with a median age of 35 years old. Four themes emerged from the qualitative analysis. The first theme was negative emotions experienced during early diagnosis of COVID-19 including denial, fear, guilt, stress, and depression. The second theme was worry of other people such as the stigma faced from others and concern regarding the family members’ health. The third theme was frustration and disappointment towards the health care system and then fourthly, positive emotions such as acceptance, good behavior, and gratitude towards the health care staff.
Conclusion. COVID-19 imposed a great variety of emotional and psychological consequences. It is important to address a patient’s psychosocial and emotional wellbeing for further support on coping mechanisms. Factors such as assistance from the society, excellent care from the medical staff and good health-care system may ease their emotional burden. This study provides understanding of negative and positive psychological impacts among COVID-19 patients in Malaysia. We found that negative emotions mainly occurred during the early COVID-19 diagnosis.
Keyword: COVID-19, Psychological experiences, Emotions, Qualitative study
Correspondence to: Hana Maizuliana Solehan, Medical Lecturer, Consultant Physician & Neurologist Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, [email protected]