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Covid-19 Coping Survey: an in-depth qualitative analysis of free-text responses from people with and without existing health conditions in the UK

Hewitt, Rachael, Carrier, Judith ORCID:, Jennings, Stephen, Nagorski, Lilith, Pattinson, Rachael ORCID:, Anstey, Sally ORCID:, Daniel, Rhian ORCID: and Bundy, Edna ORCID: 2022. Covid-19 Coping Survey: an in-depth qualitative analysis of free-text responses from people with and without existing health conditions in the UK. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 29 , pp. 743-751. 10.1007/s12529-022-10055-z

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Background There is currently a lack of qualitative research exploring how cognitive and emotional reactions to the threat of SARS-CoV-2 affected the health behaviours of people living with and without pre-existing mental and physical health conditions. We aimed to investigate how the threat of SARS-CoV-2 influenced the thoughts, feelings and health behaviours of people with and without pre-existing health conditions in the UK. Methods A cross-sectional online survey of UK adults (aged 18 and over). Free-text responses were analysed using a qualitative framework approach guided by the Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation. Results Of the 9110 respondents, 2763 participants provided at least one free-text response. Three main themes were derived from the data. Theme one, locus of control, reports on the extent to which people felt in control during the first wave of the pandemic. Theme two, emotional impact, conveys how individuals felt and how people’s personal circumstances made them more vulnerable to experiencing negative emotions during the pandemic. Theme three, coping strategies, describes common health-protective and health-threatening behaviours performed by individuals, as well as the importance of social connectedness, the social context and the need for collective action during the first national lockdown. Conclusion Complex psychological interventions including behaviour change are required to mitigate the psychological burden of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and increase autonomy in people with and without pre-existing conditions during this highly uncertain time. Behavioural scientists can support governments and public health agencies to develop evidence-based communication and behaviour change strategies that support people to address unhelpful beliefs and emotions and strengthen coping abilities as the UK moves through and beyond the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Introduction

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1070-5503
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 19 December 2021
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 21:53

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