Lived Experiences of Rehabilitation after Covid-19: An Intersectional Perspective

Miroslava Chrienova

Covid-19 can affect us in different ways. Some people get severe Covid-19 symptoms and need medical care. Others need a long period of rehabilitation after hospitalisation for Covid-19.

The pilot project “Lived experience of rehabilitation post-Covid-19: An intersectional perspective” examines patients’ and relatives’ experiences of rehabilitation after hospital care for Covid-19 and the experiences of healthcare personnel when providing rehabilitation after hospital care for Covid-19. In order to understand these experiences, the project will also examine patients’ and relatives’ experiences of hospital care for Covid-19, and the experiences of healthcare personnel providing such care.

The overall aim of the project is to examine subjectivity and lived experiences of embodiment, illness, health, and rehabilitation after Covid-19. Previous research has shown that certain groups, such as people in the group of migrants from low and middle-income countries in the Middle East and North Africa, have been hit particularly hard by Covid-19 (Drefahl et al. 2020). For this reason, the project uses an intersectional perspective that examines how the interplay between different social categories such as ethnicity and age is expressed in interview material. This material is obtained from interviews conducted with patients and relatives or close others who speak Swedish, as well as with patients and relatives or close others who speak Somali, Dari or Arabic, but not Swedish or English. Focus group interviews are also conducted, with healthcare personnel.

The pilot project is expected to contribute to societal understanding of Covid-19 and its effects on health, equality in health, social relationships, and experiences of one’s own body, life, and future. It is also expected to contribute to rehabilitation medicine with insights into patients’, relatives’ and personnel experiences of hospital care of rehabilitation after Covid-19.

The project is a collaboration between researchers with expertise in medical sociology, intersectional perspectives, philosophy of medicine and medical ethics - Anna Bredström, Sofia Morberg Jämterud and Kristin Zeiler - and clinically active researchers at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Linköping University Hospital - Anestis Divanoglou and Richard Levi.