Mental well-being of COVID-19 survivors in Karachi, Pakistan: an exploratory case study
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Aga Khan University, Pakistan
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1225
Introduction: COVID-19 pandemic has affected every individual’s mental well-being. It is estimated that the burden of mental health issues will increase globally during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a dearth of literature on the mental well-being of COVID-19 survivors in the Pakistani population. Hence, this study explores the experiences of survivors, family caregivers, and healthcare providers regarding the mental well-being and healthcare needs of the COVID-19 survivors in communities of Central Karachi, Pakistan.  Methods: The exploratory case study design was used in the context of the population of Ayesha Manzil and Karimabad, areas in central Karachi. Through the snowball sampling technique, those adult survivors who quarantined themselves at home were included. Family caregivers of survivors and healthcare providers of area were also interviewed to triangulate the study. In-depth and key informants interviews were used to  study the mental well-being of  survivors during the illness. For analyzation, thematic analysis method was used. Results: The key effects on COVID-19 survivors mental well-being, coping strategies, and the response of healthcare providers were identified through six themes which include self-acceptance of life changes, personal growth, purpose in life, relationship with others, autonomy, and environmental mastery. The study’s Findings also indicate a non-availability of public-funded mental health services. The presence of any such facility in the area may help COVID survivors to mitigate the negative consequences of quarantine and isolation Conclusions: Study Findings explicitly concluded that COVID survivors of central Karachi have suffered from negative mental well-being. The study suggests initiating community-based mental health services and programs to cope with negative mental well-being. In addition, training LHW and CHW for barefoot counseling for COVID patients are recommended. Moreover, training all general practitioners in mental health, which will Results in early diagnosis of survivors mental well-being issues and reduces the countrys mental health burden.