Rachel Johnson-Koenke, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Dr. Rachel Johnson-Koenke is a licensed clinical social worker and health science researcher in Denver, Colorado, USA. She is an assistant professor at the College of Nursing, University of Colorado where her research interest is the use of narratives and Unitary Caring Science to improve health equity for people living with chronic illness. Dr. Johnson-Koenke conducts research at the Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, VA Medical Center and the University of Colorado. She also mentors, supervises and supports clinician researchers and nursing students to conduct research from their unique and insightful disciplinary lens.
People living with Long COVID frequently experience high symptom burden and trouble with activities of daily living (ADLs). COVID impacted not only those people living with Long COVID but also put further stress on the mental health system in the US. The NICO research study aimed to establish the acceptability and feasibility of implementing an asynchronous narrative intervention for people living with Long COVID.
People with self-reported Long COVID were recruited through social media. Measures were administered at both baseline and 3 months. Program satisfaction semi-structured interviews were conducted with intervention participants. Results were analyzed using conventional content analysis. Descriptive statistics were also used to describe the population and measures.
Seventeen study participants consented and enrolled, while eleven completed the intervention (65%). Multiple participants reported that they enjoyed the asynchronous program because it allowed them to engage with it when they had time (Table 1). Results suggest NICO is feasible and acceptable.
The NICO research study provides evidence to support the feasibility and acceptability of this asynchronous narrative intervention for people living with chronic illnesses like Long COVID. Many chronic illnesses impact a person’s ability to engage with traditional in-person talk therapy. Combined with limited mental health availability, flexible mental health intervention implementation will be an essential part of helping the increasing number of people living with chronic illnesses. Additional research is needed to refine and implement the NICO intervention to help the many people living with Long COVID and other life-limiting chronic illnesses.