Existing Situations of Long COVID in Older Adults with Chronic Illness: A Mixed Method Study

Main Article Content

Pulawit Thongtaeng
Junjira Seesawang


Purpose: To study the primary symptoms, factors associated with Long COVID, and experiences with Long COVID in older adults with chronic illnesses.

Design: A mixed-methods sequential explanatory design.

Methods: In a quantitative phase, 92 participants who lived in a province of Northern Thailand were selected by cluster sampling. A personal data form and a questionnaire focusing on Long-COVID symptoms were used. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and binary logistic regression. In a qualitative phase, 30 informants were selected by purposive sampling. In-depth interviews were conducted with a semi-structure interview protocol, and data were analyzed by using content analysis.

Main findings: Long COVID was found 70.7% and the most common reported Long-COVID symptoms were hair loss (49.2%), chronic cough (43.1%), and fatigue (30.7%). Women had a 4.9 times higher likelihood of experiencing Long COVID compared to men (OR = 4.89, 95%CI [1.68, 14.22], p-value = .004). Older adults with moderate COVID-19 symptoms were 5.3 times more likely to develop Long COVID than those with mild symptoms (OR = 5.31, 95%CI [1.88, 15.00], p-value = .002). The qualitative findings revealed three main aspects 1) consequences of Long COVID, 2) strategies to cope with Long COVID, and 3) requirements for assistance and support. The in-depth interviews complemented the quantitative data, shedding light on the physical, psychological, and social impacts of Long COVID on older adults with chronic illnesses. They employed coping strategies including self-care, seeking information, and acceptance. The support they required while experiencing Long COVID included access to healthcare services for consultation, information about Long COVID, as well as continuous monitoring.

Conclusion and recommendations: Elderly with chronic illnesses may experience lasting effects from COVID-19, including symptoms like hair loss, chronic cough, and fatigue. Women and those with moderate infection levels are more prone to developing Long COVID. Nurses should closely monitor these patients, assess their symptoms, and provide guidance to prevent Long COVID. They should also encourage self-care during symptom occurrence and offer reliable support resources.

Article Details

How to Cite
Thongtaeng, P., & Seesawang, J. (2024). Existing Situations of Long COVID in Older Adults with Chronic Illness:: A Mixed Method Study. Nursing Science Journal of Thailand, 42(2), 1–18. Retrieved from https://he02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ns/article/view/266333
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