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Table 3 Themes and illustrative quotes for older adults

From: COVID-19 pandemic partnership between medical students and isolated elders improves student understanding of older adults’ lived experience

Theme Illustrative quote
Agreeableness …just a lovely individual. She was warm. She brightened my day. (Participant #18)
…she is very pleasant…. She is easy to talk with….and it comes down on the positives. Very much on the positive. (Participant #33)
Connectedness She will ask questions that have continuity to them. Like she knows that I have a dog. So, she will ask me you know how my dog is doing. So, she obviously makes notes so that she could bring up…points of conversation that we can carry on exchanging. It is not just her listening to me whine. (Participants #33)
I got a feeling that it was like a friend that I had known for quite some time who was able to empathize with the kinds of things that I was going through…there was somebody out there that was throwing me a lifeline for an hour a week enabled me to, to, to, um, accept this isolation. (Participant #18)
Memorable substance of calls …and I want to hear more next week when we chit chat. I want to hear more about that about her visit back home. I will be quizzing her. (Participant #43)
…we talk about her running and what I am doing, out walking my dog. (Participant #33)
Recognition of value I knew that there was someone there if, you know, if everything else failed. (Participant #91)
And that person would not know the extent to which she did help me… I wouldn't have the language skills to be able to choose the words to be able to explain how much I look forward to that hour or so. (Participant #18)
….it has very positive value for people like myself. (Participant #43)
Self-concept I am quite a social person. I think everybody gets a little lonely sometimes in their own way. (Participant #91)
…and I said oh no I am I am a perennial optimist. I wouldn't go down that road. You know…to a point where I wouldn't be able to come up, I am not that kind of person. (Participant #11)
Effect of COVID-19 pandemic I am a two-time cancer survivor. I did not know what the virus would do, but I did know that I had to stay inside as much as I could….I kind of thought to myself how am I going to handle this. (Participant #18)
Mutually beneficial I think that the medical student who will one day become the doctor and they will have a greater empathy for patients. And particularly for older patients. (Participant #18)
…these…young people. Interesting to see have they grew over three or four weeks. (Participant #91)
Consistency The second guy I had…about three weeks ago I missed his call on a Monday… and he never phoned again. So that one didn't work out…. (Participant #91)
…she could have let me know that she is not going to be around, you know? (Participant #33)