Twenty-six eligible women (19-75 years old ) attended the interviews. The occupational status of the participants was as follows: self-employed (n=11), government employees(n=7), and housewives (n=8). The results of the interviews on the individual negative consequences of COVID-19 were categorized into five themes: increasing self-conscious excitement, perceived social stigma, depression, changes in behavioral patterns, and reducing the level of quality of life. Each theme contains several sub-themes that are listed in Table1. Also, positive outcomes were considered in five categories in general, including the development of the Spiritual Attitude, increasing the importance of personal health, the rise of perceived support, increasing the sense of altruism, and increase financial savings.
A) Negative Consequences of Covid 19
The first theme – Increasing self-conscious excitement
The theme included sub-themes of increased fear and anxiety, feel guilty, stress, and anxiety.
Increased fear and anxiety
Most patients said that COVID-19 increased their level of fear and anxiety. One participant said they were so frightened that their daily lives were disrupted:
"I'm always afraid to die. It’s true that I did not have an underlying disease, but I always think to myself that maybe I have heart disease, maybe I have a stomach ulcer. Maybe I have cancer and I do not know”. (Participant 2)
Concerns about children's future, excessive concerns about children's health, fear of the name Covid 19, fear of being a carrier, excessive use of detergents, fear of re-infection, anxiety in other family members, a shock to the individual Death, fear of rejection in society, were among the topics frequently mentioned in interviews:
"I have no problem, I just do not want anyone to know I had a corona, because everyone is told that I had a corona and they distance themselves from me."(Participant 2)
Feelings of guilt over family efforts to care for the patient, feelings of guilt over infecting others, and feelings of embarrassment caused problems in patients' daily lives:
"I have a guilty conscience because I caused my children and grandchildren to get sick. I could have followed the health tips more and distanced myself from them, but I was wrong"(Participant 2)
Stress and anxiety
COVID-19 caused nervous stress and psychological stress in patients. Some of the interviewees reported psychosomatic illnesses, insomnia, fear, and severe anxiety as a result of the disease.
The second theme- Perceived social stigma
One of the themes achieved was perceived social stigma, which included feeling excluded from society, reducing social interactions, and creating problems in the workplace.
Feeling excluded from society
The behaviors of others and acquaintances caused some patients to feel rejected by society. According to one of the participants, the behavior of his colleague in the workplace was a sign of his rejection by society:
"Even though I was in quarantine, there were signs of improvement, because my co-workers knew that I was ill, my co-worker could not accept me, for example, they called me at one of the meetings and said that there was no meeting. My colleague used a two-layer mask in the room, standing away from me, spraying the desk and computer regularly " (Participant 19)
In this regard, another participant said: "For a while, no one approached us. In the village, no one passed by our house. Everyone who came forward would shut their mouths. We were at home for a whole month"(Participant 8)
Reducing social interactions
Participants reported that their levels of social interaction decreased due to COVID-19, the distance of family members and acquaintances from the patient, disruption of family communication, the distance between the patient and his children, the distance between colleagues and the individual, limited communication with children and grandchildren, restricting family travel, the absence of the sick person in the ceremony were among the items that were expressed in this category:
"Even now, only the behavior of others bothers me. Sometimes when we talk to the neighbors, they say that you had a corona, for example, something happened and this sentence makes me nervous, so I try not to communicate too much with others"(Participant 8)
The third theme – Depression
Depression consisting of two categories of feelings of emptiness and pessimism towards health workers was another theme that emerged in this study.
Feelings of emptiness
COVID-19 in many patients has led to feelings of emptiness in life and a sense of the futility of being in the community, said one participant:
“After suffering from this disease, I feel that the world is worthless, the issues of life have lost their importance to me, I always ask myself why this world was created”. (Participant 14)
Pessimism towards health workers
According to some patients, the lack of facilities and manpower in medical centers had caused the treatment process to be disrupted, which was one of the reasons for their pessimism towards health workers:
"I was hospitalized and did not do anything for me, that is, I did not have many possibilities to do anything for my body. I do not have any problems now”. (Participant 6)
The fourth theme - Changes in behavioral patterns
Other themes that emerged in this study were changes in behavioral patterns after the disease. This theme also consisted of two categories including lifestyle changes and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
One of the most important issues mentioned by the interviewees was changes in their lifestyle due to illness, changes such as not participating in religious ceremonies, doing work through cyberspace, using medicinal plants:
"Even after recovery, our lifestyles have changed dramatically, for example, my wife does shop and doing her daily chores even though she works in a hospital. Or now all family members are trying to get the food that specialists or doctors recommend. In other words, our eating patterns at home have changed. We used to not use herbs at home, but now we do "(Participant 22)
Participants' experiences showed that having COVID-19 affected even the smallest habits of their lives, such as buying clothes:
“I have no motivation to buy other clothes like before, I used to be very fond of buying clothes, now not anymore, I used to love shopping, but now I am afraid to go shopping again”. (Participant 17)
Some participants claimed that obsessive-compulsive behaviors developed in them several months after COVID-19's disease.
Fifth theme - Reducing the level of quality of life
The fifth theme consisted of two categories: creating physical problems and creating economic problems.
Creating physical problems
One of the problems reported by all participants was the development of physical problems after the disease. Problems such as weakness in the body, indigestion, premature fatigue, tachycardia, tachypnea, physical weakness, severe hair loss, difficulty hearing, and hearing were some of the cases reported by patients:
"I feel something weighing down my chest. I'm not as light and comfortable as before. I'm short of walking as I walk. I feel like my body is completely weak." (Participant 9)
"I feel like my ear has a problem. After the disease, I keep talking in my ear. The runny nose is still not getting better. I think I should try again." (Participant 1)
Creating economic problems
COVID-19 has caused financial problems for many participants, especially in those who did not have a permanent government job. One of the participants said that he even had difficulty financing the hospital and could hardly afford the leave:
"My husband was a driver and he could not leave home and go to work, which had exacerbated our economic problems. All the children had come, and I, who was in the hospital, was worried about the hospital expenses because my husband was old. And if he was going to travel, he might get sick too." (Participant 4)
B) Positive Consequences of COVID-19
The first category- Development of the spiritual attitude
Some interviewees believed that recovery from illness was like an opportunity to live again, which they believed strengthened their morale and changed their outlook on life spiritually:
"I was already preoccupied with some issues, I concluded that I should not upset anyone, the world is far away, not too long, God has allowed me to live again" (Participant 18)
Other codes in this category include the devaluation of everyday issues and problems in life and the devaluation of the world from the perspective of the sick person.
The second category - Increasing the importance of personal health
Based on the experiences of many participants, COVID-19 disease increased the importance of personal health to them. Among the positive consequences related to personal health that were obtained in the analysis of interviews are more health tips, more importance to personal health, more use of cyberspace content about health, increasing the study of scientific topics:
"Since I got the disease, I regularly wash my hands with soap and water, take a bath every day, follow the preventive ways they are called in cyberspace." (Participant 14)
The third category - The rise of perceived support
From the participants' point of view, COVID-19 disease increased their perceived social support, as they became more aware of community and family illness as a result of their disease:
"After getting sick, all the family members ask me every day how I am. My wife pays more attention to me than before" (Participant 21)
The fourth category- Increasing the sense of altruism
Some participants stated that after recovering from the disease, they decided to be careful and good at dealing with others in social interactions.
"After recovering, I realized more about the value of family, I try not to complain about anyone anymore, I do not expect from anyone, I try more to be good with other people" (Participant 13)
In this category, warming family relationships, increasing values such as family members, increasing love for family and colleagues, increasing the sense of helping others, paying more attention to family members, avoiding arguing with others, use of other patients' experiences, and the opportunity to interact more with the children were among the codes mentioned by the interviewees.
The fifth category - Increasing financial savings
According to some participants, among the positive behaviors changed in them was increasing personal savings, saving daily living, and reducing additional expenses in their lives. One of the interviewees said:
"After recovering, I decided to save more money for the day, so that I would not borrow money from others again if I needed treatment. I think it had a positive effect on me because I did not keep my money before." (Participant 20)