INTRODUCTION: This study is conducted to explore the biopsychosocial experiences, challenges, and coping strategies of home-isolated patients with coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) during their recovery process.
METHODS: The present study utilized a phenomenological research design. A purposive sampling technique was used to recruit 20 home-isolated mild symptomatic COVID-19 patients from an urban area in India. In-depth telephonic interviews were conducted between the 18th and 25th of August 2020. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and thematic analysis was carried out to explore major themes.
RESULTS: Four overarching themes were identified: (1) Bio-psychosocial experiences, (2) challenges encountered, (3) coping strategies used, and (4) recommendations to address issues. Fever, dry cough, severe body pains and tiredness were the common biological symptoms felt by the participants. The common negative feelings experienced were fear, anxiety, guilt, and worry. Economic issues, being humiliated by their neighbors, and stigma were the major challenges faced by the participants. Positive thinking, becoming aware of COVID-19 facts, and practising meditation and yoga were the common coping strategies used by participants. Regular digital monitoring of home-isolated patients by medical professionals, creating web portals to clarify illness-related issues, and need to sensitizing the neighbors were some of the recommendations made by participants.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Biopsychosocial issues are associated with COVID-19 infection. Mental healthcare professionals are in a unique position to address the psychosocial concerns arising out of the pandemic.