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Chaninat Chamnandee
Jiraporn Kespichayawattana


Purpose: This research aimed to study the illness experiences of older persons infected by Coronavirus 2019

Design:  Qualitative descriptive phenomenology methodology

Methods: The participants in this study included 16 older persons who had been infected with Coronavirus 2019. Data was collected using in an depth interview guide, observations, field notes, and a tape recorder. The data analysis was content-based using the Colaizzi method.

Result: The research findings revealed four major themes as follows: 1) Perception of the illness experience: Initially, the older persons did not believe that they would contract the virus, but upon becoming ill, they experienced physical and mental discomfort, including symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Even after being treated, they found that their health was not the same as before. 2) Admission experience: While the older persons were grateful to have access to treatment, they felt uncomfortable being confined to the activity room and being monitored through CCTV and loudspeakers, leading to a lack of connection with caregivers. 3) Various emotional responses in psychological well-being: The illness triggered various emotions such as worry and fear of not surviving. After treatment, they felt lonely due to isolation measures but felt empowered and gained a better understanding of their condition as they aged. 4) Experience with social reintegration after recovery: The older persons reported being avoided by others after recovery, with only those close to them offering support. The pandemic caused the older persons to make lifestyle adjustments to prevent reinfection.

Conclusion: The study’s findings enhance further understanding about illness experiences of older persons infected with Coronavirus 2019. These results could serve as a basis for improving the management of Coronavirus 2019 in the older people and for promoting holistic care.

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Research articles