Abstract: Literature suggested that COVID-19 patients experienced hospitalization as a physically and psychologically stressful event, with the risk to develop post-traumatic stress symptoms. The study aimed to understand psychological experiences of COVID-19 survivors with severe complications during and after ICU hospitalization, and any relevant health consequences. From October 2020 to January 2021, a qualitative study was conducted in Italy via semi-structured interviews by phone or video call addressed to COVID-19 survivors, randomly enrolled among people who released their stories publicly on newspapers, television, or social media. Fifteen individuals (three women and twelve men with average age of 56.4 years) were interviewed. Four main themes emerged: (i) emotion of fear; (ii) isolation and loneliness; (iii) unawareness about the gravity of the situation as a protective factor; (iv) “Long COVID” as consequences of the disease on physical and psychological health. During hospitalization, 66.7% of participants had mild or moderate values of anxiety and depression. After discharge, 86.7% moved to normal values. The results suggest that long-COVID is an important problem to manage to improve patients’ quality of life. It is essential to guarantee a holistic take in charge starting before the discharge and continuing care after discharge in the community where they live.
Experiences, Emotions, and Health Consequences among COVID-19 Survivors after Intensive Care Unit Hospitalization / Piras, Ilenia; Francesca Piazza, Maria; Piccolo, Cristina; Azara, Antonio Alfredo; Piana, Andrea Fausto; Finco, Gabriele; Galletta, Maura. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1660-4601. - 19:(2022), pp. 1-16. [10.3390/ijerph19106263]