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Exploring the Psychosocial Consequences of Mandatory Quarantine During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Hong Kong

Background: While global media and local & international health organisations provide regularly updated information and statistics on the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, little is known of the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 quarantine. Quarantine measures during pandemics such as COVID-19 present complex challenges. Determining equitable and effective application of policies is difficult, particularly concerning associated mental health effects. Recent research suggests that as most of the adverse psychological outcomes result from longer quarantine duration and the restriction of liberty, policy makers should consider voluntary quarantine, emphasising altruistic reasons for self-isolating. Having a sense of altruism could mitigate the mental health consequences of quarantine. Objective: The aim of this study was to understand the psychosocial consequences of mandatory quarantine in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: An exploratory qualitative research design was employed. Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews and surveys were analysed using template analysis. Findings: Employing the acronym ALTRUISM, the findings suggest that mandatory quarantine was associated with negative psychosocial consequences, some of which were long-lasting. The findings suggest that relying on altruism and not enforcing quarantine could alleviate the mental health issues associated with quarantine. Additionally, psychological support should be made available for people during and after quarantine. Implications: The importance of the contribution of this study to public health policy and practice in Hong Kong and internationally is discussed, with recommendations for future research and practical implications of the findings.

Quarantine, Psychosocial Consequences, COVID-19, Altruism

APA Style

Judith Blaine. (2021). Exploring the Psychosocial Consequences of Mandatory Quarantine During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Hong Kong. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 10(2), 96-103.

ACS Style

Judith Blaine. Exploring the Psychosocial Consequences of Mandatory Quarantine During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Hong Kong. Psychol. Behav. Sci. 2021, 10(2), 96-103. doi: 10.11648/j.pbs.20211002.13

AMA Style

Judith Blaine. Exploring the Psychosocial Consequences of Mandatory Quarantine During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Hong Kong. Psychol Behav Sci. 2021;10(2):96-103. doi: 10.11648/j.pbs.20211002.13

Copyright © 2021 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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