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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Testing for COVID-19 regulates behavior in the general population: A qualitative study of experiences of awaiting test result for COVID-19

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DOI

  1. 'Standing together - at a distance': Documenting changes in mental-health indicators in Denmark during the COVID-19 pandemic

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  2. Towards a syndemic public health response to COVID-19

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  3. Work exposure and associated risk of hospitalisation with pneumonia and influenza: A nationwide study

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  2. Prognostic Impact of Self-Reported Health on Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Heart Failure

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  3. In the eye of the hurricane - a qualitative study on what is at stake for close family members to patients hospitalized with COVID-19

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AIM: This study aimed to explore experiences of awaiting a test result for COVID-19 among individuals from the general population.

METHODS: Fifteen participants were recruited from COVID-19 testing tents in the Capital Region of Denmark in March and April 2020. A phenomenological-hermeneutic approach inspired by Ricoeur's theory of interpretation was used.

RESULTS: The analysis revealed five themes. (1) The participants' experiences of awaiting a COVID-19 test result illuminated concerns related to infecting others rather than their own health. Experiences of guilt for not taking all possible precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 were described and thoughts of potentially having exposed others bothered the participants. (2) The test result would guide their precautions and therefore regulate behaviour at home and in society. (3) Even though the participants did not take all possible precautions they made some changes in their everyday lives. (4) Leaving the individual with the responsibility for taking precautions based on their subjective experiences created feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. (5) Being met by health professionals was an experience that meant for the particpants that behaviour towards limiting the infection became very clear. The seriousness experienced around the test situation facilitated this attitude and behaviour in the participants. Conclusion: This study illuminated how testing for COVID-19 regulates behavior in the general population. The testing was both important for the individual's cautious behavior towards other people, work and in getting around in society but also a way to regulate behavior from a societal perspective to quicken suppression and avoid transmission of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesScandinavian Journal of Public Health. Supplement
Pages (from-to)1403494821993717
ISSN1403-4956
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021

    Research areas

  • coronavirus, COVID-19, diagnostic testing, general population perspective, Qualitative research

ID: 65561717