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Coping with the hospital environment during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study of the survivors’ perspective during their stay at the ICU and inpatient ward

Heliyon. 2024 Jan 13;10(2):e24661. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e24661. eCollection 2024 Jan 30.


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the clinical practice of healthcare professionals. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of COVID-19 survivors regarding the healthcare they received during their stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the inpatient COVID-19 ward. A qualitative case-study approach was implemented. Participants were recruited using non-probabilistic purposeful sampling strategy. Inclusion criteria included patients aged ≥18 years who received follow-up from the Pulmonology service at a Hospital in de North of Spain, were diagnosed with COVID-19 and bilateral pneumonia, and were admitted to the ICU before being transferred to a COVID-19 inpatient ward. Data was collected through in-depth interviews and researchers’ field notes, and thematic analysis was performed. Techniques such as credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability were employed to ensure the trustworthiness of the data. A total of 25 individuals (six women) were included in the study. Three main themes emerged from the analysis: common challenges faced in both units, coping with the hospital stay, and developing strategies. Findings highlighted the need to improve information dissemination, individualize care, and enhance direct patient interaction. Moreover, the study shed light on the psychological impact of hospitalization and ICU experience, including feelings of loneliness, confinement, and the lack of memories from the ICU stay, as well as the influence of care and healthcare language. Finally, strategies such as keeping the mind occupied and maintaining self-discipline were identified as crucial during hospitalization. These findings provide valuable insights for healthcare professionals in delivering care to individuals with COVID-19 in the ICU and hospital ward settings.

PMID:38298692 | PMC:PMC10828673 | DOI:10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e24661


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