Objectives: This nation-wide project aimed to investigate the common perceptions and concerns regarding COVID-19 outbreak in Iran.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in Iran from February to March 2020 via an online open-ended questionnaire. The participants were also selected using convenience and snowball sampling methods. As well, the data collection process continued until data saturation was achieved. Thematic content analysis was utilized to analysis the transcribed texts.
Results: The statements retrieved also represented the most challenging psychological stress experienced by the participants. Four themes were accordingly recognized based on the content analysis including stressful conditions, health concerns, social and political concerns, and economic concerns. Throughout the study, a major proportion of the participants commented that psychological disorders such as fear, anxiety, stress, and ennui were their main challenges regarding this pandemic. Furthermore, lack of social responsibility, worries about high-risk and susceptible groups, decreased economic power of the public, financial hardships for low-income groups, shortage of healthcare facilities, and adverse effects of disinfectants were expressed as the main concerns.
Conclusions: As a whole, it is evident that people have confronted with several challenges and need help together with effective policies and strategies during and after this pandemic to reduce their current concerns. The study findings provided a favorable ground to develop and adopt the required policies in Iran and other countries. It was concluded that creating local, national, and global solidarity in such epidemics is an inevitable necessity.
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