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1.
BMC Psychol ; 10(1): 163, 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910357

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has posed multiple challenges to healthcare systems. Evidence suggests that mental well-being is badly affected due to compliance with preventative measures in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to explore the role of positive mental health (subjective sense of wellbeing) to cope with fears related to COVID-19 and general anxiety disorder in the Pashtun community in Pakistan. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 501 respondents from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participating in an online-based study. We performed correlational analysis, hierarchical linear regression and structural equational modeling (SEM) to analyze the role of mental health in reducing fears and general anxiety disorder. RESULTS: The results of the SEM show that positive mental health has direct effects in reducing the fear related to COVID-19 (ß = - 0.244, p < 0.001) and general anxiety (ß = - 0.210, p < 0.001). Fears of COVID-19 has a direct effect on increasing general anxiety (ß = 0.480). In addition, positive mental health also has an indirect effect (ß = - 0.117, p < 0.001) on general anxiety (R2 = 0.32, p < 0.001) through reducing fear of coronavirus. CONCLUSION: Based on these findings, there is a need to develop community health policies emphasizing on promotive and preventive mental health strategies for people practicing social/physical distancing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/psychology , Fear , Humans , Mental Health , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control
2.
Front Public Health ; 10: 739761, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731859

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated support for continued learning in frontline practitioners through online digital mediums that are convenient and fast to maintain physical distancing. Nurses are already neglected professionals for support in training for infection control, leadership, and communication in Pakistan and other developing countries. For that reason, we aimed to deliver a WhatsApp-based intervention for continued learning in nurses who are currently working in both private and public sector. A 12-week intervention was delivered to 208 nurses (102 in the control group and 106 in the intervention group) who had been employed in the clinical setting during data collection. The analysis reveals that nurses in the intervention group show significantly better results for learning in "infection prevention and control" and "leadership and communication." Results of a content analysis based on participant's feedback also confirm that the WhatsApp-based intervention is a valuable tool for education. This study highlights the effectiveness of online-based digital interventions as a convenient training tool for awareness and management of infectious diseases, leadership, and communication during COVID-19 and beyond. Furthermore, this study emphasizes that group interventions with other healthcare practitioners and the role of on-going longer WhatsApp-based interventions can become integral tools to support continued learning and patient safety practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Infection Control , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324878

ABSTRACT

Background: : Informed public health measures are crucial to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The socio-cultural context is important to understand the success or failure of implementing public health measures. This study explores the social and behavioral response to COVID-19 and unveils challenges in the implementation of related public health measures in Pakistan. Methods: Within this qualitative study, we conducted 34 telephonic/online in-depth interviews with youths, adults, old-age people, and healthcare professionals in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Framework analysis was used for data analysis. Results: People’s poor understanding about COVID-19 and the need for preventive measures were the major challenge in implementation of public health preventive strategies. Study participants reported that the lockdown strategy increased poverty and unemployment. People’s poor living conditions and living environment compelled them to not follow social distancing and restricting themselves to homes. Additionally, an underdeveloped healthcare system was one of the major challenges for Pakistan. False and misleading information about the disease had significant consequences for the COVID control program. In Pakistan, the culture of denial related to the epidemiology of COVID-19 were important challenges within the implementation of public health preventive measures. Conclusions: It is extremely important that public health experts and social scientists work together to understand the contextual socio-cultural factors which shape behaviors associated with the spread of a pandemic. This knowledge is needed in order to design and implement preventive strategies that could effectively work in the local context.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324877

ABSTRACT

Amid to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital health literacy (DHL) has become a significant public health concern. This research aims to assess information seeking behavior, as well as the ability to find relevant information and deal with DHL among university students in Pakistan. An online-based cross-sectional survey, using a web-based interviewing technique, was conducted to collect data on DHL. Simple bivariate and multivariate linear regression was performed to assess the association of key characteristics with DHL. The results show a high DHL related to COVID-19 in 54.3% of students. Most of the Pakistani students demonstrated ~50% DHL in all dimensions, except of reliability. Multivariate findings showed that gender, sense of coherence and importance of information were found to be significantly associated with DHL. However, a negative association was observed with students’satisfaction with information. This led to the conclusion that critical operational and navigations skills are essential to achieve COVID-19 DHL and cope with stress, particularly to promote both personal and community health. Focused interventions and strategies should be designed to enhance DHL amongst university students to combat the pandemic.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321142

ABSTRACT

Background: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is disseminating rapidly, increasing stress and challenges for health care professionals around the world. This study aims to discover the psychosocial challenges faced by female health care professionals (HCPs) treating COVID-19 patients in Pakistan. Methods: : Using an empirical phenomenological methodology, semi-structured telephone-based qualitative interviews were taken from 22 female HCPs who were providing their expertise for COVID-19 patients in tertiary level hospitals of Lahore, Pakistan. Purposive sampling has been used for recruitment. The interviews were taken from July 20 to August 20, 2020. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: : This study discovered the psychosocial challenges faced by female HCPs serving COVID-19 patients. Five themes have been observed in the interviews: psychological concerns of HCPs while treating COVID-19 patients;feelings towards COVID-19 patients;confidence in government, administration and self-reflection;challenges as female HCPs and coping strategies;and finally, future concerns and recommendations. Many of these themes have also been linked with cultural issues, making the results specific for Pakistan. Conclusions: : During the COVID-19 pandemic, female front-line HCPs have faced immense psychosocial pressure, starting from unsupportive family norms to unwelcoming working environment and insensitive hospital administration. Moreover, rumours among general public, lack of proper training, missing incentives and improper system surveillance had increased the anxiety and stress among HCPs. Hence, legislators are advised to take appropriate actions countrywide in order to improve the still on-going challenges and to support female HCPs in their working environment.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320593

ABSTRACT

Background: This study aims to explore the experiences, beliefs, feelings and challenges faced by Pakistani migrant doctors working in the United Kingdom in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. This qualitative approach was chosen to document their lived experiences and to develop a post-COVID-19 response to help them recover from their shared and individual traumas. Methods: : An empirical phenomenological approach was used to collate data on experiences made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Purposive and snowball sampling was used to target participants, which were doctors of Pakistani origin involved in the direct care and management of COVID-19 patients in different NHS hospitals of the United Kingdom. Semi-structured, in-depth telephonic interviews were conducted with study participants in May 2020. Data collection was done parallel with data analysis by using standard qualitative methods. Results: : We recruited ten frontline physicians. Four theme categories emerged from the data analysis: 1) Working across borders and cultures, 2) Role of beliefs for coping stress and fear, 3) Passion and profession, and 4) Scaffolding the Pakistani health system. Overall, the results show that the participants received no professional support, in terms of counselling and psychological rehabilitation. Instead, they had to use self-management strategies to cope with the situation. Conclusion: The intensive work exhausted participants physically and emotionally. They were holding a lot of grief and hurt inside;but still healthcare professionals showed the spirit of professional dedication to overcome difficulties. Although currently coping with their emotional problems, comprehensive professional support should be made available to them in order to cater for the wellbeing of frontline physicians.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319939

ABSTRACT

Background: In January 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global public health emergency. Medical preparedness and community education are the most valuable preventive tools for combatting this pandemic. The objective of this study was to assess the role of media public health awareness campaigns on the knowledge of the general population about COVID-19 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Methods: : A quantitative study using a pre-post design among 384 respondents was conducted. To recruit study participants, a systematic random sampling technique was used. A structured questionnaire was administered to the participants twice: The first response (t 1 ) from participants was filled in during the first week in February 2020 before any confirmed cases were reported in the country, and the second response (t 2 ) was completed one month after the first case detection in Pakistan (March 2020). Media health awareness campaigns were launched just after the detection of the first case in Pakistan. Data was analysed by computing descriptive statistics and paired t-tests to measure the level of association between variables. Results: : Exposure to the media and knowledge relating to COVID-19, particularly its symptoms and frequent handwashing as a preventive measure, increased over time. Whereas only a quarter of respondents judged the isolation of suspected cases in quarantine to be important to prevent the spread of infection in society at t 1 , more than half did so at t 2 . The same increase was visible in relation to the statement that a lockdown helps to follow social distancing. Socio-demographic characteristics were not significantly associated with knowledge (gains). However, more frequent use of electronic media is associated with greater knowledge gains from t 1 to t 2 . Conclusions: : The findings of this study provide evidence that awareness and knowledge related to COVID-19 symptoms and preventive measures increased significantly over time. The increased frequency of following the media indicates that health awareness campaigns are important for enhancing the knowledge of the general public regarding COVID-19.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316188

ABSTRACT

Background: The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has posed multiple challenges to healthcare systems. Evidence suggests that mental well-being is badly affected due to compliance with preventative measures in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to explore the role of positive mental health (subjective sense of wellbeing) to cope with fears related to COVID-19 and general anxiety disorder in the Pashtun community in Pakistan. Methods: : A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 501 respondents from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participating in an online-based study. We performed correlational analysis, hierarchical linear regression and structural equational modeling (SEM) to analyze the role of mental health in reducing fears and general anxiety disorder. Results: : The results of the SEM show that positive mental health has direct effects in reducing the fear related to COVID-19 (β=-0.244, p<0.001) and general anxiety (β= -0.210, p<0.001). Fears of COVID-19 has a direct effect on increasing general anxiety (β=0.480). In addition, positive mental health also has an indirect effect (β=-0.117, p<0.001) on general anxiety (R 2 =0.32, p<0.001) through reducing fear of coronavirus. Conclusion: Based on these findings, there is a need to develop community health policies emphasizing on promotive and preventive mental health strategies for people practicing social/physical distancing.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316186

ABSTRACT

Background: Ensuring safety and wellbeing of healthcare providers is crucial, particularly during times of a pandemic. In this study, we aim to identify the determinants of anxiety in physicians on duty in coronavirus wards or quarantine centers. Methods: : We conducted a cross-sectional quantitative survey with an additional qualitative item. Five constructs of workload, exhaustion, family strain, feeling of protection, and anxiety were measured using items from two validated tools. Modifications were made for regional relevance. Factor analysis was performed showing satisfactory Cronbach alpha results. Overall, 103 physicians completed the questionnaire. Results: : T-test results revealed significant associations between gender and anxiety. Structural equation modeling identified that high workload contributed to greater exhaustion (β=0.41, R 2 =0.17, p<0.001) and greater family strain (β=0.47, R 2 =0.22, p<0.001). Exhaustion (β=0.17, p<0.005), family strain (β=0.34, p<0.001), and feelings of protection (β=-0.30, p<0.001) significantly explained anxiety (R 2 =0.28). Qualitative findings further identified specific needs of physicians with regard to protective equipment, compensation, quarantine management, resource allocation, security and public support, governance improvement, and health sector development. Conclusions: : It is imperative to improve governmental and social support for physicians and other healthcare providers during the corona pandemic. Immediate attention is needed to reduce anxiety, workload, and family strain in frontline practitioners treating coronavirus patients, and to improve their (perceptions of) protection. This is a precondition for patient safety.

10.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313141

ABSTRACT

Background: Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are neglected human resources for health with regard to both professional development and research for patient safety. The surgical theatre is associated with the highest mortality rates and with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. ODPs are key practitioners with respect to infection control during surgeries. Therefore, this study aims to describe challenges faced by ODPs. The secondary aim is to use empirical evidence to inform the public health sector management about both ODP professional development and improvement in surgical procedures, with a specific focus on pandemics. Methods: : A qualitative study has been conducted. Data collection was based on an interview guide with open-ended questions. Interviews with 39 ODPs in public sector teaching hospitals of Pakistan who have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic were part of the analysis. Content analysis was used to generate themes. Results: : Ten themes related to challenges faced by ODPs in delivering services during the pandemic for securing patient safety were identified: (i) Disparity in training for prevention of COVID-19;(ii) Shortcomings in COVID-19 testing;(iii) Supply shortages of personal protective equipment;(iv) Challenges in maintaining physical distance and prevention protocols;(v) Human resource shortages and role burden;(vi) Problems with hospital administration;(vii) Exclusion and hierarchy;(viii) Teamwork limitations and other communication issues;(ix) Error Management;and (x) Anxiety and fear. Conclusions: : The public health sector, in Pakistan and other developing regions, need to invest in the professional development of ODPs and improve resources and structures for surgical procedures, during pandemics and otherwise.

11.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 129, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636805

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The economic and human costs of suicide to individuals, families, communities, and society make suicide a major public health problem around the world. Suicide rates in South Korea are among the highest in the world. This paper is the first systematic review investigating socioeconomic risk factors for suicidal behaviors (suicidal ideation, attempted suicides, and completed suicides) in South Korea. METHODS: We performed a systematic review in Medline and Web of Science. Empirical studies and peer-reviewed articles on the association between individual socioeconomic factors and suicidal behaviors have been included. A total of 53 studies were included in a descriptive synthesis. RESULTS: Overall, 35 studies focused on the association between individual socioeconomic factors and suicidal ideation, 16 were related to suicide attempts, while 10 addressed completed suicides. Low income, unemployment, and financial difficulties were identified as risk factors for all suicidal behaviors. Working in precarious conditions, long working hours, self-employment, changes in employment status, shift work/night-time work, and occupational stress were associated with an increased risk for suicidal ideation. Low educational attainment appears to increase the risk for suicide attempts and completed suicide, but the significance of educational attainment on the reporting of suicidal ideation could not be verified. The primary studies were unable to ascertain whether the place of residence impacts on suicidal behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight the relevance of socioeconomic factors for suicidal behaviors in South Korea. Governmental social spending must be increased and redirected more efficiently so that the economically most vulnerable groups are financially protected and income inequality does not widen. Furthermore, comprehensive prevention strategies at the community level are needed. Future research needs to focus on identifying vulnerable groups for whom the effects of low socioeconomic status may have particularly serious consequences with regard to suicidal behaviors.


Subject(s)
Suicidal Ideation , Suicide, Attempted , Humans , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Socioeconomic Factors
12.
Data Brief ; 39: 107604, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606343

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant public health crisis of this century, and the world has been facing multiple challenges for the last two years, including a high death toll, the imposition of various forms of lockdown and the unavailability of vaccines. Globally, people have faced fearful situations and sought information from social media in order to understand the severity of the situation as well as to protect themselves and others. In comparison to traditional media (electronic and print), social media provides quick and easy access to information, making its impact timely and powerful. The cross-sectional data reflects social media use and its associations with self-efficacy, perceived threat, and preventive behavior in the time of COVID-19 among the people of Pakistan. An online-based cross-sectional survey has been conducted to obtain data from the respondents. These respondents were reached out by sharing a hyperlink through various social media platforms. A total number of 310 respondents furnished their responses. The survey was completed in April 2020. This data may be of great interest to researchers, policymakers, research organizations, and social and mental health practitioners who wish to explore other dimensions of mental health issues caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

13.
Front Public Health ; 9: 779090, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555999

ABSTRACT

Medical preparedness and community education are the most valuable preventive tools for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to assess the role of media public health awareness campaigns on the knowledge of the general population about COVID-19 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A quantitative study using a pre-post design among 384 respondents was conducted. A structured questionnaire was administered to the participants twice: The first response (t 1) from participants was filled in during the 1st week in February 2020 before any confirmed cases were reported in the country, and the second response (t 2) was completed 1 month after the first case detection in Pakistan (March 2020). Media health awareness campaigns were launched just after the detection of the first case in Pakistan. Exposure to the media and knowledge relating to COVID-19 increased over time. Whereas, only a quarter of respondents judged the isolation of suspected cases in quarantine to be important to prevent the spread of infection in society at t 1, more than half did so at t 2. Socio-demographic characteristics were not significantly associated with knowledge (gains). However, more frequent use of electronic media is associated with greater knowledge gains from t 1 to t 2. The findings of this study provide evidence that awareness and knowledge related to COVID-19 symptoms and preventive measures increased significantly over time. The increased frequency of following the media indicates that health awareness campaigns are important for enhancing the knowledge of the general public regarding COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Gesundheitswesen ; 83(11): 894-899, 2021 Nov.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440494

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has both exposed and intensified various challenges for Public Health and the Public Health service (ÖGD) in Germany. However, it also offers a window of opportunity for effective long-term transformation of the country's Public Health system. Against this backdrop, an online survey was carried out among the members of the German Network of Young Professionals in Public Health (Nachwuchsnetzwerk Öffentliche Gesundheit (NÖG)) in October and November 2020. It sought to elicit members' experiences and views related to Public Health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting preliminary "lessons learned" for the German Public Health context are presented in this article. Based on the results of the survey, recommendations were formulated which are intended to provide targeted and concrete advice for the strengthening and transformation of Public Health in Germany. The main issues that preoccupied the young professionals were the increased public and political attention to Public Health and the narrow focus on infectious disease control, the standing of Public Health in Germany and the strengths and weaknesses of Public Health structures and workforce. The recommendations are aimed at promoting long-term and holistic strengthening of Public Health, with the training of an interdisciplinary workforce of young professionals presenting a key focus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , Germany , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
16.
Front Public Health ; 9: 703825, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346427

ABSTRACT

Informed public health measures are crucial to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The sociocultural context is important to understand the success or failure of implementing public health measures. This study explores the social and behavioral response to COVID-19 and unveils challenges in the implementation of related public health measures in Pakistan. Within this qualitative study, we conducted 34 telephonic/online in-depth interviews with youths, adults, elderly people, and healthcare professionals in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Framework analysis was used for data analysis. People's poor understanding about COVID-19 and the need for preventive measures were the major challenge in implementing public health preventive strategies. Study participants reported that the lockdown strategy increased poverty and unemployment. People's poor living conditions and living environment compelled them not to follow social distancing and restricting themselves to home. Additionally, an underdeveloped healthcare system was one of the major challenges for Pakistan. The culture of denial in Pakistan related to the epidemiology of COVID-19 was an important challenge within the implementation of public health preventive measures. It is extremely important that public health experts and social scientists work together to understand the contextual sociocultural factors which shape behaviors associated with the spread of a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Front Psychol ; 12: 562042, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295684

ABSTRACT

Although the role of social media in infectious disease outbreaks is receiving increasing attention, little is known about the mechanisms by which social media use affects risk perception and preventive behaviors during such outbreaks. This study aims to determine whether there are any relationships between social media use, preventive behavior, perceived threat of coronavirus, self-efficacy, and socio-demographic characteristics. The data were collected from 310 respondents across Pakistan using an online cross-sectional survey. Reliability analyses were performed for all scales and structural equational modeling was used to identify the relationships between study variables. We found that: (i) social media use predicts self-efficacy (ß = 0.25, p < 0.05) and perceived threat of coronavirus (ß = 0.54, p < 0.05, R 2 = 0.06), and (ii) preventive behavior is predicted by self-efficacy and perceived threat of coronavirus (R = 0.10, p < 0.05). Therefore, these results indicate the importance of social media's influence on health-related behaviors. These findings are valuable for health administrators, governments, policymakers, and social scientists, specifically for individuals whose situations are similar to those in Pakistan.

18.
Sci Prog ; 104(2): 368504211023282, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1277842

ABSTRACT

The surgical theatre is associated with the highest mortality rates since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are neglected human resources for health in regards to both professional development and research for patient safety; even though they are key practitioners with respect to infection control during surgeries. Therefore, this study aims to describe challenges faced by ODPs during the pandemic. The secondary aim is to use empirical evidence to inform the public health sector management about both ODP professional development and improvement in surgical procedures, with a specific focus on pandemics. A qualitative study has been conducted. Data collection was based on an interview guide with open-ended questions. Interviews with 39 ODPs in public sector teaching hospitals of Pakistan who have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic were part of the analysis. Content analysis was used to generate themes. Ten themes related to challenges faced by ODPs in delivering services during the pandemic for securing patient safety were identified: (i) Disparity in training for prevention of COVID-19; (ii) Shortcomings in COVID-19 testing; (iii) Supply shortages of personal protective equipment; (iv) Challenges in maintaining physical distance and prevention protocols; (v) Human resource shortages and role burden; (vi) Problems with hospital administration; (vii) Exclusion and hierarchy; (viii) Teamwork limitations and other communication issues; (ix) Error Management; and (x) Anxiety and fear. The public health sector, in Pakistan and other developing regions, needs to invest in the professional development of ODPs and improve resources and structures for surgical procedures, during pandemics and otherwise.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics , Surgeons/organization & administration , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Adult , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pakistan/epidemiology , Personal Protective Equipment/ethics , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surgeons/psychology , Surgical Procedures, Operative/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce/organization & administration
19.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251641, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226902

ABSTRACT

Limited evidence exists to help understand the experiences of university students in relation to the long-term lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, we conducted a study using a phenomenographic approach in order to understand how university students perceive COVID-19 and the associated lockdown. Data were collected from 25 students in Pakistan. They were asked to demonstrate the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in illustrations. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with these students, to gain further insights into their perspectives on the psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis revealed four interlinked directions for understanding students' experiences. These themes were: 1) escape into peace, 2) hope for personal freedom, 3) fear of becoming a victim of COVID-19, and 4) concerns regarding education, future career, and opportunities. All four themes were analyzed and condensed into an outcome space, which further gathers the perceptions of students under one theme as "Hope for life while paradoxically living with fear". Studying the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on students not only highlighted their concerns, but also emphasized the importance of starting regular psychological evaluations and stress-releasing sessions, along with online education to overcome growing depression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/etiology , Education, Distance , Fear , Female , Hope , Humans , Male , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Students/psychology , Universities
20.
BMC Womens Health ; 21(1): 197, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225771

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly, increasing the stress and challenges for healthcare professionals around the world. This study aims to discover the psychosocial, emotional and professional challenges faced by female healthcare professionals (HCPs) treating COVID-19 patients in Pakistan. METHODS: Using an empirical phenomenological methodology, semi-structured telephone-based qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 female HCPs who were providing their expertise for COVID-19 patients in tertiary-level hospitals in Lahore, Pakistan. Purposive sampling was used for recruitment. The interviews were conducted between 20 July and 20 August 2020. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: This study explored the psychosocial, emotional and professional challenges faced by female HCPs serving COVID-19 patients. Five themes were observed in the interviews: apprehension while treating COVID-19 patients; feelings towards COVID-19 patients; challenges as female HCPs and coping strategies; confidence in government, administration and self-reflection; and finally, future concerns and recommendations. Many of these themes have also been linked with cultural issues, making the results specific to Pakistan. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, female frontline HCPs have faced immense psychosocial pressure, ranging from unsupportive family norms to an unwelcoming working environment and insensitive hospital administrations. Moreover, rumours among the general public, lack of proper training, missing incentives and improper system surveillance have increased the anxiety and stress among HCPs. Hence, legislators are advised to take appropriate actions countrywide in order to alleviate the still ongoing challenges and support female HCPs in their working environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Disease Outbreaks , Emotions , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Pakistan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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