University of Twente Student Theses


Illness stories of hospitalised COVID-19 patients: a complex story of chaos, restitution and quest

Duhoux, Johan (2023) Illness stories of hospitalised COVID-19 patients: a complex story of chaos, restitution and quest.

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Abstract:Objective: This study aimed to explore the lived experiences of former hospitalised COVID-19 patients and how they narrate the experiences of their hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation (recovery) period, six and twelve months after hospital dismission. By attaining a better understanding of these experiences, future healthcare services that treat COVID-19 patients may be improved. Method: The sample (N=143) was extracted from the patient population of three Dutch hospitals. As part of a larger cohort study, two open-ended questions were added to inquire about patients’ experiences. For the narrative analysis, Arthur Frank’s story typologies (chaos, restitution and quest) were used to construct a coding scheme containing substory types (e.g. chaos hospitalisation, restitution achieved, quest gratitude). Results: The hospitalisation and recovery experiences of former COVID-19 patients contain all three of Frank’s story types. The chaos (47%) and restitution story (47%) types are dominant, accounting for 94% of the identified codes. Chaos was more prevalent among the hospitalisation stories and restitution more among the recovery stories. The quest story type occurred in 6% of the data. The substory types of chaos and restitution seem related to events and experiences during the illness trajectory of COVID-19. Alternatively, the quest subtypes appear as a reflection of the illness experience as a whole. Conclusion: This study suggests that COVID-19 narratives of hospitalised patients are typically hybrids of the restitution and chaos story type, and this pattern is consistent in narratives related to the hospitalisation and recovery phase. The quest story is much less prevalent. The unique aspects found among the COVID experiences can serve as guidelines for healthcare workers tending to this group of patients. Our current healthcare can be improved and supplemented by applying autobiographical interventions as well as providing aftercare by bringing people together to share and listen.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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