Phenomenology of the Experience of Covid-19 Disease in Order to Determine the Components of Basic Psychological Coping, a Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Professor of the Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran

2 Master of Rehabilitation Counseling Student, Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran

3 M.Sc. Rehabilitation Counseling, Department of Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran


Aim: The Covid-19 pandemic has made fundamental changes in the human world at the levels of relationships, jobs, education, and health issues. This qualitative study was conducted to identify the components of basic psychological coping in people with Covid-19 disease. Method: The participants of this study were selected from the list of names of Ardabil Health Network in a purposeful manner. The time of approval of the research was 1399 and the date of its completion was 1400. The research method was qualitative interpretive phenomenology. Therefore, 20 patients who were hospitalized at home were asked through semi-structured interviews and data analysis process continued until reaching the theoretical saturation point. In this study, 123 codes related to research objectives were identified using open coding method. Results: The results of the analysis showed three main issues and thirteen primary classes. The main subject of symptoms includes physical, psychological and social classes. The main subject of coping skills includes the first classes of entertainment, nutrition, spiritual, psychological, medical, social resources and despair. The main subject of consequences includes the first classes of life, the first class of concerns and the first class of relationships. Conclusion: Thus, people with Covid-19 disease, use all kinds of problem-focused to emotion-focused coping strategies and all of their resources even negative coping ways to cope and to survive. Therefore, body and mind coherently tries to ensure the survival of the person.


Bai Y, Lin C-C, Lin C-Y, Chen J-Y, Chue C-M, Chou P. Survey of stress reactions among health care workers involved with the SARS outbreak. Psychiatric Services. 2004; 55(9):1055-7.(LINK)
Bo, H. X. Li, W. Yang, Y. Wang, Y. U. Zhang, Q. Cheung, T. ... & Xiang, Y. T. (2021). Posttraumatic stress symptoms and attitude toward crisis mental health services among clinically stable patients with COVID-19 in China. Psychological medicine51(6), 1052-1053.(LINK)
Dean, A. & Lin, N. (1977). The stress-buffering role of social support. Journal of Nervous and Mental disease.(LINK)
Early, B. P. & Grady, M. D. (2017). Embracing the contribution of both behavioral and cognitive theories to cognitive behavioral therapy: Maximizing the richness. Clinical Social Work Journal45(1), 39-48.(LINK)
Grover, S. Dua, D. Sahoo, S. Mehra, A. Nehra, R. Chakrabarti, S. (2020). Why all COVID-19 hospitals should have mental health professionals: The importance of mental health in a worldwide crisis! Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 51. (LINK)
Harms, P. D. Krasikova, D. V. & Luthans, F. (2018). Not me, but reflects me: Validating a simple implicit measure of psychological capital. Journal of personality assessment100(5), 551-562. (LINK)
Huang, C. Wang, Y. Li, X. Ren, L. Zhao, J. Hu, Y. & Cao, B. (2020). Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The lancet395(10223), 497-506.‏ (LINK)
Jiang Y. (2020). Psychological Impact and Coping Strategies of Frontline Medical Staff in Hunan between January and March 2020 during the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) in Hubei, China. Med Sci Monit. 26: 924171. (LINK)
Kim M, Kim ACH, Newman JI, et al (2019). The antecedents and consequences of positive organizational behavior: the role of psychological capital for promoting employee well-being in sport organizations. Sport Manag Rev, 22(1): 108-25. (LINK)
Laake, J. H. Buanes, E. A. Småstuen, M. C. Kvåle, R. Olsen, B. F. Rustøen, T. & Hofsø, K. (2021). Characteristics, management and survival of ICU patients with coronavirus disease‐19 in Norway, March‐June 2020. Prospective observational study. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica65(5), 618-628. (LINK)
Lazarus, R. S. & Folkman, S. (1987). Transactional theory and research on emotions and coping. European Journal of personality1(3), 141-169. (LINK)
Lin, N. Ensel, W. M. Simeone, R. S. & Kuo, W. (1979). Social support, stressful life events, and illness: A model and an empirical test. Journal of health and Social Behavior, 108-119. (LINK)
Luthar, S. S. & Cicchetti, D. (2000). The construct of resilience: Implications for interventions and social policies. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 857–885. Doi: 10.1017/S0954579400004156. (LINK)
Luthans, F. Youssef, C. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2007). Psychological capital: Investing and developing positive organizational behavior. Positive organizational behavior1(2), 9-24. (LINK)
Luthans F, Luthans KW, Luthans BC (2004). Positive psychological capital: Beyond human and social capital. Bus Horizons, 47(1): 45–50. 5. (LINK)
Masten, A. S. Best, K. M. & Garmezy, M. (1990). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425–444. Doi: 10.1017/S0954579400005812. (LINK)
Nogalski, A. Kucmin, T. & Turska, D. (2018). Coping styles and dispositional optimism as predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms intensity in paramedics. Psychiatr Pol52(3), 557-71. (LINK)
Ogueji, I. A. Okoloba, M. M. & Ceccaldi, B. M. D. (2021). Coping strategies of individuals in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Psychology, 1-7. (LINK)
Poudel-Tandukar, K. Chandler, G. E. Jacelon, C. S. Gautam, B. Bertone-Johnson, E. R. & Hollon, S. D. (2019). Resilience and anxiety or depression among resettled Bhutanese adults in the United States. International Journal of Social Psychiatry65(6), 496-506. (LINK)
Phua, D. H., Tang, H. K., & Tham, K. Y. (2005). Coping responses of emergency physicians and nurses to the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. Academic emergency medicine12(4), 322-328. (LINK)
Qian, M. Wu, Q. Wu, P. Hou, Z. Liang, Y. Cowling, B. J. & Yu, H. (2020). Psychological responses, behavioral changes and public perceptions during the early phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in China: a population based cross-sectional survey. (LINK) 
Shen, K. Yang, Y. Wang, T. Zhao, D. Jiang, Y. Jin, R. & Gao, L. (2020). Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in children: experts’ consensus statement. World journal of pediatrics, 1-9.‏ (LINK)
Sim, K., Chan, Y. H., Chong, P. N., Chua, H. C., & Soon, S. W. (2010). Psychosocial and coping responses within the community health care setting towards a national outbreak of an infectious disease. Journal of psychosomatic research68(2), 195-202. (LINK)
Slavich, G. M. (2020). Social safety theory: a biologically based evolutionary perspective on life stress, health, and behavior. Annual review of clinical psychology16, 265-295. (LINK)
Stuart G, Laraia M. Psychiatric nursing. 8 Th ed. St Louis: Mosby; 2005. P. 430-1.‎(LINK)
Sun, L. Sun, Z. Wu, L. Zhu, Z. Zhang, F. Shang, Z. & Liu, W. (2020). Prevalence and risk factors of acute posttraumatic stress symptoms during the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. MedRxiv. (LINK)
Taha, S. A., Matheson, K., & Anisman, H. (2013). The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic: The role of threat, coping, and media trust on vaccination intentions in Canada. Journal of health communication18(3), 278-290. (LINK)
Teasdale, E., Yardley, L., Schlotz, W., & Michie, S. (2012). The importance of coping appraisal in behavioural responses to pandemic flu. British journal of health psychology17(1), 44-59. (LINK)
Wang, C., Horby, P. W., Hayden, F. G., & GAO, G. F. (2020). A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern. The lancet395(10223), 470-473. (LINK)
Zhang, J. Yang, Z. Wang, X. Li, J. Dong, L. Wang, F. & Zhang, J. (2020). The relationship between resilience, anxiety and depression among patients with mild symptoms of COVID‐19 in China: A cross‐sectional study. Journal of Clinical Nursing29 (21-22), 4020-4029. LINK
Zhang, J. Yang, Zh. Wang, X. Li, J. Dong, L. Wang, F. Li, Y. Wei, R. & Zhang, J. (2020). The relationship between resilience, anxiety and depression among patients with mild symptoms of COVID‐19 in China: A cross‐sectional study. JCN Journal of clinical nursing, (LINK)