SURVIVING COVID-19: AN ILLNESS NARRATIVE OF PATIENTS IN PAKISTAN
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, Fear, Pandemic, Interview, Narrative medicine
Objective: To explore the perspective of survivors with regards to their experience with COVID-19, in order to provide health care professionals a better insight to the disease and its management.
Study Design: Mix method study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in COVID declared Pak-Emirates Military Hospital Rawalpindi, from April to June 2020.
Methodology: Forty two patients admitted to PEMH Rawalpindi who were Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) positive for SARS COV-2 were included in the study. Non-probability purposive sampling was used. Face to face in depth semi structured interviews were carried out by two doctors in which the detailed narrative of each patient was obtained. The findings of the interviews were discussed in front of the panel of research team members and the main recurring themes were sought.
Results: Out of the 42 patients interviewed 41 (97.1%) were satisfied with treatment received at PEMH Rawalpindi. 69% of the patients believed the fear associated with COVID was most distressing than the disease itself. All of the participants believed that mask and social distancing helped in prevention of disease and 85.7% were in favor of lockdown. 17.17% patients acquired their awareness of COVID through unreliable means like social media. Natural remedies were used by 78.8% of the participants out of which the use of Senna leaves was the greatest (42.86%).
Conclusion: most patients received their information through the media and social media which created superfluous fear among the patirnts. Patients turned to Alternative the rapies which need to be evaluated with a scientific approach. The medical care being provided by PEMH is appreciated by the patients, however bed bound patients require attendants for better care.