Törnbom K, Engwall M, Persson HC, Palstam A
J Rehabil Med 54 (-) jrm00327 [2022-09-09; online 2022-09-09]
To gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of patients with COVID-19, regarding rehabilitation, work and social life 6 months after hospital discharge. An explorative qualitative study with individual interviews. Patients of working age with persistent self-reported symptoms at a 3-month follow-up who had received inpatient hospital care with discharge approximately 6 months previously were purposively sampled. Semi-structured interviews were performed with 10 men and 5 women. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed with inductive thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: "Social support - crucial, but decreased over time", "Varying needs of, and access to, rehabilitation", "Returning to work after COVID-19 - crucial for future prospects" and "An overwhelming experience that essentially changed one's personality". Rehabilitation provided participants with the valuable tools for recovery, giving them hope for future recovery. Support from next of kin was highly valued, creating stronger family bonds. A new meaning and greater appreciation of life was expressed.