Understanding Post-hospitalised Patients’ Experiences of Long-COVID - The PELCO Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Despite significant advances in long COVID research, many aspects of the condition remain unknown. There is a persisting need for further research to improve the management of long COVID symptoms. This study aimed to explore the experiences and psychological needs of patients who were previously hospitalised with COVID-19, and who subsequently developed long COVID symptoms. Twelve patients with long COVID were interviewed between October 2021- June 2022. Transcripts were analysed thematically. An overarching theme of ‘Existential Crisis’ was developed, incorporating three interconnecting sub-themes: ‘Facing Psychological Threat’, ‘Seeking Legitimisation’ and ‘Forging a Path Through Uncertainty’. Findings suggest that the psychological impact of emergency hospitalisation for COVID-19 can be severe, particularly for those with ongoing long COVID symptoms, and that early psychological intervention should be available. Our findings also suggest the importance of further planning for future pandemics to ensure the presence of patient advocates during hospitalisation at points of critical decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Jun 2024


  • COVID 19
  • qualitative health research
  • COVID-19 impact
  • Psychological health and wellbeing


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