The child's experience of becoming ill with COVID-19

Juliana Barony da Silva, Nayara Luiza Henriques, Felipe Leonardo Rigo, Gonçalo Miguel Cordeiro Duarte Guerreiro, Sérgio Joaquim Deodato Fernandes, Elysangela Dittz Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



OBJECTIVE: To understand the experience of children when they become ill with COVID-19. METHOD: Qualitative-descriptive and exploratory study, guided by the World Health Organization's concept of Quality of Life. Twenty-four children participated, aged between seven and nine years, 11 months and 29 days, diagnosed with COVID-19. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and underwent deductive thematic analysis. RESULTS: The children understood what COVID-19 is, its high lethality and transmissibility, and its forms of contagion and prevention. COVID-19 has been identified as something negative. The experience of children becoming ill with COVID-19 was permeated by changes in their routines, especially due to having activities limited to the home, emotional changes, and physical symptoms due to infection with the virus. CONCLUSION: The children understood the seriousness of the pandemic and identified the changes that had occurred. They also expressed understanding about the disease and its control. Knowing children's experience of illness can guide care actions aimed at them, recognizing that children's adequate understanding of what they experience can contribute to coping with illness and their participation in control actions.

Translated title of the contributionA experiência da criança sobre o seu adoecimento por COVID-19
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20230165
Number of pages9
JournalRevista da Escola de Enfermagem da U S P
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Child
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Nursing
  • Qualitative research


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