Background: A number of studies from different countries have been devoted to studying the psychological state of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the severity of the symptoms of the disease itself, the situation of uncertainty can negatively affect the patients’ psychological well-being. .
Objective: Our research aimed to explore ways for patients with COVID-19 to regulate their emotional state during hospitalization, and how they can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Design: The research involved 127 people hospitalized due to confirmed COVID-19: 67 men (52.8%) and 60 women (47.2%), ages 19 to 77 years (M = 43.34, Me = 42, SD = 11.81). We used a set of questionnaires which included the Beck Depression Questionnaire; the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale; the Perceived Social Support Questionnaire (22-item); theCognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire ; and the Dembo-Rubinstein self-assessment scales.
Results: Twenty-five and four-tenths percent (25.4%) of the participants had severe symptoms of anxiety, and 24.13% had symptoms of depression. Women showed higher symptoms of depression than men. ANOVA showed no significant differences in the use of emotion regulation strategies in patients being hospitalized at different intervals, or in patients of different age groups. Factor analysis made it possible to distinguish three patterns of emotion regulation: 1) adaptive cognitive change; 2) fixation on negative experiences; and 3) deflection of responsibility. Significant positive correlations were found between symptoms of depression and anxiety, and coping by fixation on negative experience only.
Conclusion: Although various means of cognitive emotion regulationr by patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are currently being presented, these strategies are not associated with significant reductions in their symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Keywords: anxiety; depression; pandemic; COVID-19; regulation of emotion; coping with the disease