Different scholars have emphasised the psychological distress experienced by health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, there are almost no qualitative studies and we know very little about the everyday experience of this group. The present study's goal was to explore how health workers interpreted the meaning of the pandemic crisis in their life. An online survey was available during the Italian lockdown. Respondents were asked to write a passage about the meaning of living in the time of COVID-19. A total number of 130 questionnaires (M = 42,35; DS =10,52; women: 56,2%) were collected. The Automated Method for Content Analysis (ACASM) procedure was applied to the collected texts to detect the factorial dimensions underpinning (dis)similarities in the respondents’ narratives. Such factors were interpreted as the markers of latent dimensions of meanings (DS). The two main DS that emerged were characterised by the pertinentisation of two extremely basic issues: what the pandemic represents (health emergency versus personal crisis) and its impact (powerlessness versus discovery of new meanings). On the whole, health workers’ narratives help to highlight the risk of normalising the feelings of fear and impotence experienced when facing the health emergency and the need to recognise that such feelings are strictly intertwined with the limited resources received to “face the battle”; the need to recognize the human vulnerability of the women and men “inside the lab coat” and the human effort to maintain or reconstruct a sense of self and purpose in the face of troubled circumstances.

The COVID-19 Pandemic from the Health Workers’ Perspective: Between Health Emergency and Personal Crisis

Tiziana Marinaci
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Claudia Venuleo
Conceptualization
;
2021

Abstract

Different scholars have emphasised the psychological distress experienced by health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, there are almost no qualitative studies and we know very little about the everyday experience of this group. The present study's goal was to explore how health workers interpreted the meaning of the pandemic crisis in their life. An online survey was available during the Italian lockdown. Respondents were asked to write a passage about the meaning of living in the time of COVID-19. A total number of 130 questionnaires (M = 42,35; DS =10,52; women: 56,2%) were collected. The Automated Method for Content Analysis (ACASM) procedure was applied to the collected texts to detect the factorial dimensions underpinning (dis)similarities in the respondents’ narratives. Such factors were interpreted as the markers of latent dimensions of meanings (DS). The two main DS that emerged were characterised by the pertinentisation of two extremely basic issues: what the pandemic represents (health emergency versus personal crisis) and its impact (powerlessness versus discovery of new meanings). On the whole, health workers’ narratives help to highlight the risk of normalising the feelings of fear and impotence experienced when facing the health emergency and the need to recognise that such feelings are strictly intertwined with the limited resources received to “face the battle”; the need to recognize the human vulnerability of the women and men “inside the lab coat” and the human effort to maintain or reconstruct a sense of self and purpose in the face of troubled circumstances.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/454714
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