The Outbreak of COVID-19: A Narrative Thematic Analysis of the Perceived Psychological and health Outcomes
Objectives: The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has culminated in the unbearable negative life outcomes for all. The study explored the perceived psychological distress and consequent health outcomes caused by COVID-19.
Design: The Narrative Thematic Analysis design was used.
Methods: A heterogeneous sample of 18 participants (12 males and 6 females) responded about their experiences of the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The data were collected through a telephonic semi-structured interview that was analyzed through the Thematic Analysis Method.
Results: Four themes were generated: perceived psychological distress, lower social support, enhanced religious practices and enhanced negative health outcomes. Extreme anxiety, panic experiences, insecurity, helplessness, hyper-vigilance and negative attributions represented the psychological distress while decreased social interactions and imposed social distancing characterized the perceived social support. Increased reliance on myths, divine interpretations and faith in God showed religious practices. Decreased hunger, insomnia, headache, breathing problems and palpitation were ill-health outcomes.
Conclusions: The epidemic was sudden, unknown and fatal that shaped the nature and extent of perceived psychological distress, social support and religious practices. The first two may have caused negative health outcomes while the religious practices maintained equilibrium among the rest three. Immediate trans-disciplinary efforts for the effective prevention, treatment and promotion of the affected people are recommended.
COVID-19; pandemic; psychological distress; health consequences; social support; religious practices; narrative thematic analysis.