Department of Psychiatry
Health Psychology | Infectious Disease | International Public Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Virus Diseases
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on people the need to find meaning in many unprecedented ways. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore how the general Italian population dealt with government restrictions and to understand personal experiences connected with the first wave of the pandemic in light of the personal construct theory (PCT) framework. One hundred and sixteen people (over 18 years old) completed an online survey between May and June 2020. Two independent researchers ran inductive thematic content analysis on data using a specifically developed international codebook. Five major themes were identified in the participants' narrations: difficulties, emotions, coping with lockdown measures, going back to normal, and change. The results, interpreted within the PCT transitions, showed that the pandemic represented a threat to participants' life plans, beliefs, and certainties. Some coped with it mainly by waiting for the pandemic to end and remaining firm in their beliefs and certainties, whereas others coped by trying to find alternative ways of giving sense to this experience and reconstructing personal meanings, claiming a change in their life and in society. Differentiating personal experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic is fundamental for designing personalised strategies to promote well-being.
COVID-19, coronavirus, health psychology, personal construct theory, qualitative research
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DOI of Published Version
Tomaino SCM, Cipolletta S, Kostova Z, Todorova I. Stories of Life during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Qualitative Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jul 18;18(14):7630. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18147630. PMID: 34300081; PMCID: PMC8304996. Link to article on publisher's site
International journal of environmental research and public health
Tomaino SC, Cipolletta S, Kostova Z, Todorova I. (2021). Stories of Life during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: A Qualitative Study. COVID-19 Publications by UMMS Authors. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147630. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/covid19/280
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.