Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Stress and Adjustment During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study on the Lived Experience of Older Adults

Version 1 : Received: 8 November 2021 / Approved: 10 November 2021 / Online: 10 November 2021 (09:00:20 CET)

How to cite: Fiocco, A.J.; Gryspeerdt, C.; Franco, G. Stress and Adjustment During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study on the Lived Experience of Older Adults. Preprints 2021, 2021110199 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0199.v1). Fiocco, A.J.; Gryspeerdt, C.; Franco, G. Stress and Adjustment During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study on the Lived Experience of Older Adults. Preprints 2021, 2021110199 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0199.v1).

Abstract

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures were put into place to flatten the pandemic curve. It was projected older adults were at increased risk for poor psychological and health outcomes resulting from increased social isolation and loneliness. However, little re-search has supported this projection among community-dwelling older adults. While growing body of research has examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults, there is a paucity of qualitative research that captures the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults. The current study aimed to better understand the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults during the first six months of the pandemic. Semi-structured one on one interviews were conducting with independent living older adults aged 65 years and older. After achieving saturation, 22 interview were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Following a recursive process, two overarching themes emerged from the data: perceived threat and challenges of the pandemic and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, participants reflected on the threat of contracting the virus and challenges associated with living arrangement, social isolation, and financial insecurity. Participants shared their coping strategies to maintain health and wellbeing, including behavioral strategies, emotion-focused strategies, and social support. Overall, this re-search highlights resilience among older adults during the first six months of the pandemic.

Keywords

COVID-19; pandemic; stress; coping; older adults; resilience

Subject

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, General Psychology

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