Engwall M, Törnbom K, Persson HC, Palstam A
J Rehabil Med 54 (-) jrm00326 [2022-09-09; online 2022-09-09]
To obtain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of patients with COVID-19, the recovery process and consequences for everyday life 6 months after hospital discharge. An explorative qualitative study using individual interviews. A purposive sampling was applied to recruit persons who had received inpatient hospital care, were discharged approximately 6 months previously, were of working age and had persistent self-reported symptoms at a 3-month follow-up appointment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants (10 men, 5 women), which were then transcribed and analysed with inductive thematic analysis. Three themes were identified: "Status of recovery - two steps forward, one step back", "Remaining symptoms caused limitations in everyday life" and "Strategies for recovery". Participants indicated the recovery process through 6 months after discharge was a challenging road, often involving setbacks. A wide range of persistent, fluctuating, or new symptoms negatively impacted many areas of daily life, with fatigue and lack of energy being especially prominent. Participants used a variety of strategies to cope and recover. This study increases our knowledge of the lived experiences of COVID-19 based individual experiences. Unexpected symptoms in the recovery process were described and not always possible to forecast.