Ramon Z. Shaban , PhD 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , * , Shizar Nahidi , PhD 1 , 2 , Cristina Sotomayor-Castillo , PhD 1 , 2 , Cecilia Li , PhD 1 , 2 , Nicole Gilroy , MBBS 3 , Matthew V.N. O'Sullivan , PhD 3 , 5 , Tania C. Sorrell , PhD 1 , 3 , 5 , 6 , Elizabeth White , BN 3 , Kate Hackett , BN 7 , Shopna Bag , MBBS 6 , 8
2 September 2020
Isolation and quarantine are key measures in outbreak management and disease control. They are, however, associated with negative patient experiences and outcomes, including an adverse impact on mental health and lower quality of care due to limited interaction with healthcare workers. In this study, we explore the lived experience and perceptions of patients in isolation with COVID-19 in an Australian healthcare setting.
Using a phenomenological approach from a Heideggerian hermeneutical perspective, we conducted individual semi-structured interviews with the first eleven COVID-19 patients admitted to a designated COVID-19 facility in Australia. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and imported into NVivo 12 for coding and analysis.
Participants’ lived experience and perceptions of COVID-19 were represented by five themes: ‘Knowing about COVID-19’, ‘Planning for, and responding to, COVID-19’, ‘Being infected’, ‘Life in isolation and the room’, and ‘Post-discharge life’. Within these, participants conveyed both positive and negative lived experiences of infection, isolation and illness. The contextual aspects of their social and physical environment together with their individual resources contributed to the framing of their planning for, and response to, the outbreak, and were important mediators in their experience.