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Article

Silver Linings Reported by Australians Experiencing Public Health Restrictions during the First Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Report

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Rural and Remote Health College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Darwin 0815, Australia
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Western Australian Centre for Rural Health, University of Western Australia, Geraldton 6530, Australia
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Research Support Team, Darling Downs Health, Toowoomba 4350, Australia
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Southern Queensland Rural Health, The University of Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia
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Research Office, Torrens University Australia, Adelaide 5000, Australia
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La Trobe Rural Health School, University Department of Rural Health, La Trobe University, Bendigo 3551, Australia
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School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Karen Willis and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11406; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111406
Received: 24 September 2021 / Revised: 25 October 2021 / Accepted: 27 October 2021 / Published: 29 October 2021
This national study investigated the positives reported by residents experiencing the large-scale public health measures instituted in Australia to manage the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Most Australians had not previously experienced the traditional public health measures used (social distancing, hand hygiene and restriction of movement) and which could potentially impact negatively on mental well-being. The research design included qualitative semi-structured phone interviews where participants described their early pandemic experiences. Data analysis used a rapid identification of themes technique, well-suited to large-scale qualitative research. The ninety participants (mean age 48 years; 70 women) were distributed nationally. Analysis revealed five themes linked with mental well-being and the concept of silver linings: safety and security, gratitude and appreciation, social cohesion and connections, and opportunities to reset priorities and resilience. Participants demonstrated support for the public health measures and evidence of individual and community resilience. They were cognisant of positives despite personal curtailment and negative impacts of public health directives. Stories of hope, strength, and acceptance, innovative connections with others and focusing on priorities and opportunities within the hardship were important strategies that others could use in managing adversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; resilience; policy; rapid evaluation; theme identification mental health; resilience; policy; rapid evaluation; theme identification
MDPI and ACS Style

Campbell, N.; Thompson, S.C.; Tynan, A.; Townsin, L.; Booker, L.A.; Argus, G. Silver Linings Reported by Australians Experiencing Public Health Restrictions during the First Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Report. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 11406. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111406

AMA Style

Campbell N, Thompson SC, Tynan A, Townsin L, Booker LA, Argus G. Silver Linings Reported by Australians Experiencing Public Health Restrictions during the First Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Report. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(21):11406. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111406

Chicago/Turabian Style

Campbell, Narelle, Sandra C. Thompson, Anna Tynan, Louise Townsin, Lauren A. Booker, and Geoff Argus. 2021. "Silver Linings Reported by Australians Experiencing Public Health Restrictions during the First Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Report" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 21: 11406. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111406

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