Exploring Lived Experiences On The Use Of Self-Talk As A Coping Strategy Among Covid-19 Patients In Kenya

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School of Communication, Daystar University


ABSTRACT This study considered self-talk from the context of COVID-19 because patients isolated from their usual contacts are likely to adapt measures to cope. The purpose of this study was therefore to explore experiences on the use of self-talk as a coping strategy among patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Kenya. This was guided by Albert Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory. The target population were patients who had been hospitalized and recovered from COVID-19. A sample size of 15 participants was drawn using a combination of both purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Data was generated by interviewing the recovered patients and then analyzed thematically. Findings show that participants used self-talk which they described using various terms to imply conversation with the self. While the participants demonstrated an understanding of self-talk, there was a misconception regarding overt self-talk. In addition, mastery experiences were reported as contributing to the use of self-talk. In terms of content, the participants reported using questions and answers and referring to themselves with terms such as ‘I’, ‘you’ and even their names. Lastly, several benefits were associated with the use of self-talk as participants reported feeling better, less stressed and less lonely. Informed by these findings, we conclude that self-talk is commonly applied especially by people isolated from their social contacts, however, some people may not be self-aware of their use of self-talk. In addition, as reported by one participant, self-talk in the context of health communication can be described as ‘me for me’. Implying how patients could contribute to their well-being through the words they tell themselves. One of the key recommendations of this study is that there is a need to increase awareness regarding self-talk and address misconceptions relating to overt self-talk.


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Self-Talk, Covid-19, Patients, Kenya


Nganda, Jeremiah Mumo