Anxiety during the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19): The Lived Experience of Older Adults

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Pamela Portelli Andre Soler


This qualitative study explored the lived experience of Maltese older adults experiencing symptoms of anxiety during the coronavirus disease pandemic. The study was carried out through an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach. The participants (7 Maltese older adults) were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling, and semi-structured interviews were utilised to collect data. A cluster of 4 emergent Group Experiential Themes comprising of 13 subthemes highlighted the high levels of fear, as well as the different cognitive processes and attitudes that led to and maintained the experience of anxiety. The challenges of living through the pandemic included social isolation, safety measures, the long-term living outcomes of the pandemic and reflections on vulnerability. Resilience, coping strategies, and support systems played crucial roles throughout this period. Results framed within a Dynamic Biopsychosocial Model revealed that biological, psychological and social factors influencing anxiety evolved with the pandemic, shaping participants' perceptions. Measures supporting older adults to soften the negative mental health outcomes and possible traumas due to death of loved ones or long-term hospitalization should be prioritized.

Keywords: COVID-19, anxiety, older adults, interpretative phenomenological analysis, lived experience

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How to Cite
PORTELLI, Pamela; SOLER, Andre. Anxiety during the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19): The Lived Experience of Older Adults. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 4, apr. 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 may 2024. doi:
Research Articles


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