Turgut Karakose1, Nedim Malkoc2


1Department of Educational Administration, Kutahya Dumlupinar University, Turkey - 2Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Health Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey


Introduction: This study aimed to explore the behavioral and interpersonal effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on frontline physicians working in Emergency Departments or Intensive Care Units of Turkish hospitals assigned to treat COVID-19 patients. 

Materials and methods: The current study was conducted using a case study approach which is one of the qualitative research designs. This research was conducted on 204 frontline physicians working within 40 different hospitals assigned to fight the COVID-19 epidemic across 15 provinces of Turkey. A semi-structured survey consisting of two open-ended questions was utilized as a data collection tool, and the collected data was analyzed using the content analysis technique. 

Results: The study’s findings revealed that frontline physicians exhibited various behavioral changes such as adhering to social distancing, personal hygiene, using personal protective equipment, eating too much, and the excessive use of mobile phones. It was also seen that frontline physicians tended to avoid social communication, interpersonal solidarity, and involvement in interpersonal conflicts. The current study’s findings are consistent with other research that has investigated the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic on healthcare professionals. 

Conclusion: The results of the current study demonstrate that COVID-19 epidemic significantly affects frontline physicians' behaviors in work/family life and interpersonal relations.


COVID-19, behavioral and interpersonal effects, physicians.