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Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

The Stress, Mental Health Issues, and Mental Well-Being of COVID-19 Survivors: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Study of Male University Students

  • Luis Miguel Dos Santos1,*,

1Endicott College, Woosong University, 34514 Daejeon, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1809180 Vol.18,Issue 9,September 2022 pp.1-13

Published: 22 September 2022

*Corresponding Author(s): Luis Miguel Dos Santos E-mail:


Background: This study investigates the sources of stress and mental well-being based on the experiences and sense-making process of a group of COVID-19 survivors in South Korea. Currently, only a few studies have focused on the stress and mental and psychological well-being of COVID-19 survivors, particularly in undergraduate male university students in the East Asian region. Based on social stigma theory, this study was guided by the following research question: How would undergraduate male university students express and describe their sources of stress that may impact the mental and psychological well-being of COVID-19 survivors, particularly in the case of South Korea? Methods: Interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed. Two in-depth interview sessions, one focus group activity, and one member-checking interview session via the Zoom app were employed to collect lived experiences from eight COVID--19 survivors who are traditional-age (i.e., 18–25 years old) university students at South Korean universities. Results: Three themes were categorised: (1) Religious Practices and Churchgoers, (2) University Matters and Personnel, and (3) Challenges from Relatives, Neighbours, and Friends. All participants argued that their gender roles, behaviours, the individuals around them and their environment offer different sources of stress, which influence their mental health and well-being as COVID-19 survivors. Although they had already been discharged from hospital and were categorised as healthy people, the government and general public continued to offer pressure. Conclusions: The results of this study illustrated the issues of sources of stress and mental and psychological well-being of COVID-19 survivors, particularly in South Korea. Although the participants had recovered from the illness caused by COVID-19, they continued to face stress, challenges, and problems from the individuals around them and their environment. The results of this study may fill the gaps about the experiences between male university undergraduate students as COVID-19 survivors in South Korea.


coronavirus; COVID-19 survivor; interpretative phenomenological analysis; South Korea; stigma; stress

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Luis Miguel Dos Santos. The Stress, Mental Health Issues, and Mental Well-Being of COVID-19 Survivors: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Study of Male University Students. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(9);1-13.


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