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Min Hye Lee 1 Article
Stress and Coping of Self-Quarantined People Focusing on Negative Cases of the Coronavirus Disease: A Qualitative Study
Kyung Im Kang, Chanhee Kim, Min Hye Lee
STRESS. 2024;32(2):74-84.   Published online June 28, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17547/kjsr.2024.32.2.74
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Background
In South Korea, many people have experienced self-quarantine due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This study explored stress, coping, and post-quarantine changes among people who were self-quarantined because of close contact but tested negative for COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic.
Methods
Qualitative interviews were conducted with four focus groups, each comprising five people. Data were analyzed using inductive content analysis.
Results
Three categories of stress and coping during self-quarantine and post-quarantine changes emerged. First, the category of content related to stress comprised “problems that are difficult to handle alone.” The subcategories were “painful body and mind,” “the experience of being in a jail without bars,” and “repeated internal and external conflicts.” Second, the category for various stress-coping methods was labeled “struggling my way,” and the subcategories were “coping methods that helped me overcome” and “coping methods that added difficulty.” Finally, the category for changes after self-quarantine was labeled “more mature me.” The subcategories involved “thorough observation of infection prevention measures in daily life,” “living together,” and “a new realization of life.”
Conclusions
Our findings contribute toward developing online or offline health programs to help individuals who self-quarantined but tested negative for infectious diseases, allowing them to feel confident to self-quarantine in good health.

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