Document Type : Original Article


Department of Community Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


BACKGROUND: The mental health of health‑care workers with their unique role in responding
to the COVID‑19 pandemic is strictly essential. Hence, to react effectively to the pandemic, it is
essential to collect further data on the stressors and adaptation strategies. The aim of this study is
to explain the health‑care workers’ experiences of stressors and adaptation strategies used during
the COVID‑19 pandemic outbreak.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A qualitative content analysis approach was employed in this
study, with semi‑structured in‑depth interviews. Nineteen health‑care workers participated in the
study by purposeful sampling method. The study setting included selective educational hospitals
that admitting patients infected with COVID‑19. The data were analyzed using content analysis
RESULTS: Stressors were classified under four major categories: idiopathic, i.e., arising from
unknown causes, individual and familial, stressful work environment, and socially imposed stressors.
The adaptation strategies were classified under inactive and active adaptation strategies.
CONCLUSIONS: The stressors include the stresses arising from the unknown nature of the disease,
stressful work environment, individual and familial stresses, and the socially imposed stresses. The
adaptation strategies include inactive and active adaptation strategies. Identification of these factors
can help workers and management to effectively react to the pandemic.


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