American Psychological Association
Families, Systems, & Health
Original Item ID
Introduction: The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 579 million globally. Symptoms during and after COVID-19 infection vary from mild cold symptoms to severe multisystem illness. Given the wide range of symptom presentations and complications post COVID-19, the purpose of this study was to describe the lived experience of American adults surviving COVID-19.
Method: This study employed an exploratory qualitative description design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 35 individuals, [white (94%), female (71%), mean age = 43.7 years], with proximity to a university in an urban Midwest American city. Interviews occurred between May and August 2021, three or more months after participants tested positive for COVID-19.
Results: Forty percent of the 35 participants experienced prolonged COVID-19 symptoms impacting their lifestyle. Four themes characterized the impacts of the post COVID-19 condition on the lives of the participants within the context of a global pandemic: (a) disruptions in health & well-being, (b) persistent uncertainty, (c) disruptions in interpersonal relationships, (d) beneficent outcomes and adaptation.
Discussion: This study of COVID-19 has identified important implications for physical activity and interpersonal stress. Prolonged COVID-19 symptoms led to disruptions in the health, well-being, and interpersonal relationships of participants. Healthcare professionals need to attend to symptoms post COVID-19, assess interpersonal functioning, and provide guidance on physical activity. Future studies are recommended to track consequences of COVID-19’s impact on long-term health and well-being.
Piacentine, Linda B.; Barbosa, Hannah C.; Haglund, Kristin; Opielinski, Lauren; Hunter, Sandra K.; Papanek, Paula E.; Bement, Marie K. Hoeger; and Johnson, Norah L., "Lived Experiences of American Adults who Survive COVID-19: Implications for Physical Activity and Interpersonal Stress" (2023). College of Nursing Faculty Research and Publications. 963.
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