Background: During community-wide outbreaks, patients and their families may suffer from anxiety after making behavioral changes. This study aimed to investigate the anxiety, knowledge, and lived experiences of families with COVID-19 patients admitted to medical centers.
Methods: The present multi-center study was conducted by a mixed method using convenient sampling in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Firoozgar and Rajaie Hospitals between May and July 2020. Anxiety was measured using a short form of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The participants’ knowledge level was examined by an online questionnaire. The lived experiences of the families were explained through semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed by Chi square, ANOVA, independent-samples t test, Kruskal Wallis, and Mann–Whitney tests in SPSS 16. P values≤0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: The mean age of the 324 family members participated in the study was 45.1±13.3 years. The mean anxiety score of the subjects was 13.5±4.1, and 63.6% of the participants had moderate to severe anxiety. The subjects’ mean score for knowledge on COVID-19 was 7.15±1.32. The highest mean percentage of data received by the subjects on COVID-19 (42.7%) was obtained through radio and television broadcasting A total of 251 important phrases were obtained from interview analysis and code extraction, out of which five main themes and 17 sub-themes were extracted.
Conclusion: Our findings showed that anxiety was relatively high in families with COVID patients during the pandemic, and it was associated with age, sex, income, and familial relationships. The level of knowledge on the COVID-19 disease in families was moderate. Therefore, relevant interventions and raising people’s awareness are recommended.