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2021 ◽  
Vol 4 ◽  
pp. 95
Mary McCarron ◽  
Andrew Allen ◽  
Darren McCausland ◽  
Margaret Haigh ◽  
Retha Luus ◽  

Background:  The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have had a dramatic impact on many people, but individuals with an intellectual disability, given the prevalence of congregate living and high levels of co-morbid conditions, may be particularly vulnerable at this time. A prior initial survey of participants of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) found that, despite a majority of participants being tested, only a small proportion had tested positive for COVID-19. Furthermore, despite some reporting positive aspects to the lockdown, a similar proportion were experiencing stress or anxiety during the pandemic. The pandemic and lockdowns have continued, and it is possible that experiences and consequences have changed over time. Aim: To explore over time and in greater depth the impact of COVID-19 and associated lockdowns and to further establish rates of infection, rates of vaccination and participants’ experiences. Methods: A structured questionnaire for people with intellectual disability participating in the IDS-TILDA longitudinal study, to be administered by telephone/video in summer 2021. Where participants are unable to respond independently, a proxy respondent will be invited to either assist the participant or answer questions on their behalf. This questionnaire will include questions from the first COVID-19 questionnaire, with extra questions assessing “long COVID” (i.e. COVID-19 lasting for 12 weeks or longer), infection control behaviours, changes in mental health, social contacts and loneliness, frailty, healthcare, and incidence of vaccination. Impact: The results of this survey will be used to inform healthcare provision for people with intellectual disability during the latter stages of the lockdown and into the future.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (10) ◽  
pp. e0258344
Phoebe E. McKenna-Plumley ◽  
Lisa Graham-Wisener ◽  
Emma Berry ◽  
Jenny M. Groarke

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated physical distancing which is expected to continue in some form for the foreseeable future. Physical distancing policies have increased reliance on digital forms of social connection and there are widespread concerns about social isolation and mental health in this context. This qualitative study sought to understand how loneliness was experienced during physical distancing in the initial national UK COVID-19 lockdown. Eight individuals who reported feeling lonely during the initial lockdown were interviewed in May 2020. Interviews were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Four main themes were identified: (1) Loss of in-person interaction causing loneliness, (2) Constrained freedom, (3) Challenging emotions, and (4) Coping with loneliness. The loss of in-person interaction contributed to feelings of loneliness and digital interaction was viewed as an insufficient alternative. Social freedom could be constrained by distancing policies and by social contacts, contributing to strained personal relationships and feelings of frustration as part of loneliness. Fluctuations in mood and difficult emotions were experienced alongside loneliness, and distraction and seeking reconnection were commonly reported methods of coping, although they were less accessible. These findings indicate that physical distancing measures can impact loneliness due to the limitations they impose on in-person social contact and the perceived insufficiency of digital contact as a substitute.

2021 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Guillaume Spaccaferri ◽  
Clémentine Calba ◽  
Pascal Vilain ◽  
Loïc Garras ◽  
Cécile Durand ◽  

Abstract Background In France, the lifting of the lockdown implemented to control the COVID-19 first wave in 2020 was followed by a reinforced contact-tracing (CT) strategy for the early detection of cases and transmission chains. We developed a reporting system of clusters defined as at least three COVID-19 cases, within seven days and belonging to the same community or having participated in the same gathering, whether they know each other or not. The aim of this study was to describe the typology and criticality of clusters reported between the two lockdowns in France to guide future action prioritisation. Methods In this study we describe the typology and criticality of COVID-19 clusters between the two lockdowns implemented in France (between May and end of October 2020). Clusters were registered in a national database named “MONIC” (MONItoring des Clusters), established in May 2020. This surveillance system identified the most affected communities in a timely manner. A level of criticality was defined for each cluster to take into consideration the risk of spreading within and outside the community of occurrence, and the health impact within the community. We compared the level of criticality according to the type of community in which the cluster occurred using Pearson’s chi-square tests. Results A total of 7236 clusters were reported over the study period, particularly in occupational environment (25.1%, n = 1813), elderly care structures (21.9%, n = 1586), and educational establishments (15.9%, n = 1154). We show a shift over time of the most affected communities in terms of number of clusters. Clusters reported in occupational environment and the personal sphere had increased during summer while clusters reported in educational environment increased after the start of the school year. This trend mirrors change of transmission pattern overtime according to social contacts. Among all reported clusters, 43.1% had a high level of criticality with significant differences between communities (p < 0.0001). A majority of clusters had a high level of criticality in elderly care structures (82.2%), in disability care centres (56.6%), and health care facilities (51.7%). Conclusion These results highlight the importance of targeting public health action based on timely sustained investigations, testing capacity and targeted awareness campaigns. The emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants strengthen these public health recommendations and the need for rapid and prioritise vaccination campaigns.

2021 ◽  
Mélanie Drolet ◽  
Aurélie Godbout ◽  
Myrto Mondor ◽  
Guillaume Béraud ◽  
Léa Drolet-Roy ◽  

ABSTRACTBackgroundSince the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries, including Canada, have adopted unprecedented physical distancing measures such as closure of schools and non-essential businesses, and restrictions on gatherings and household visits. We described time trends in social contacts for the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods in Quebec, Canada.MethodsCONNECT is a population-based study of social contacts conducted shortly before (2018/2019) and during the Covid-19 pandemic (April 2020 – February 2021), using the same methodology for both periods. We recruited participants by random-digit-dialing and collected data by self-administered web-based questionnaires. Questionnaires documented socio-demographic characteristics and social contacts for two assigned days. A contact was defined as a two-way conversation at a distance ≤2 meters or as a physical contact, irrespective of masking. We used weighted generalized linear models with a Poisson distribution and robust variance (taking possible overdispersion into account) to compare the mean number of social contacts over time by characteristics.ResultsA total of 1291 and 5516 Quebecers completed the study before and during the pandemic, respectively. Contacts significantly decreased from a mean of 8 contacts/day prior to the pandemic to 3 contacts/day during the spring 2020 lockdown. Contacts remained lower than the pre-Covid period thereafter (lowest=3 contacts/day during the Christmas 2020/2021 holidays, highest=5 in September 2020). Contacts at work, during leisure activities/other locations, and at home with visitors showed the greatest decreases since the beginning of the pandemic. All sociodemographic subgroups showed significant decreases of contacts since the beginning of the pandemic.ConclusionPhysical distancing measures in Quebec significantly decreased social contacts, which most likely mitigated the spread of Covid-19.

Leona Plášilová ◽  
Martin Hůla ◽  
Lucie Krejčová ◽  
Kateřina Klapilová

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a burning social issue worldwide. According to global statistics, the incidence of IPV has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to restrictive measures (e.g., reduced social contacts, the need to stay at home often with a perpetrator in the same household). This study aims to provide data about the incidence of IPV and its associated factors during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic. A representative online sample of 429 Czech women living with a partner at least 3 months before COVID-19 participated in the study. In an online interview, women reported IPV incidents 3 months before and during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using non-parametric repeated measures ANOVA, a significant difference between the total IPV score and the given time periods was found. In addition, the results of the research showed a significant effect of the tension in the relationship with the partner, depression rate, and partner support on the total IPV score in the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results bring important insights into IPV incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic and suggest factors that might lead to an increased risk of IPV.

Karol Konaszewski ◽  
Małgorzata Niesiobędzka

The purpose of the study is to determine the role of the sense of coherence and ego-resiliency as buffers for maladaptive coping among juveniles with different levels of delinquency. The study included 561 juveniles referred by a family court to youth education or probation centers throughout Poland. We used SEM to search for relations between variables and the critical ratio test for differences between groups. The results demonstrate that in both groups, the relationships between the components of the sense of coherence and the emotional style were negative. In both groups, the sense of comprehensibility was significantly associated with the search for social contacts. The impact of ego-resiliency on social-diversion coping was significantly stronger for the group with high compared with low demoralization. The study demonstrate that juveniles with a high degree of delinquency are more prone to emotion-oriented coping. Both groups of juveniles use two types of avoidance style to a similar extent. The results show that the stronger the sense of coherence, the less often juveniles cope with stress by reducing emotional tension and by escaping into substitute activities. Furthermore, our findings reveal the dark side of ego-resiliency.

2021 ◽  
Vol 31 (Supplement_3) ◽  
T Stathopoulou

Abstract Background The imposition of containment measures internationally during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has indicated the need for data on the psychological impact of quarantine. We use the C19 ISWS Greek dataset to examine self-reported depression in relation to alcohol and tobacco use, social contacts, relationship status and perceived risk of infection. Methods Online survey data was collected between May-June 2020. Eligible participants were higher education students in Greece and 889 students participated. We performed frequency analysis on the participants who completed the questionnaire (N = 585). Weights were applied to eliminate response bias and adjust the sample survey means and proportions to the student population in the country. Results Findings suggest that depressive symptoms are more frequent among female students, first generation migrant students and those in their first year of study. Students who were anxious about getting infected with COVID-19 reported higher rates of depressive symptoms. However, students with slightly higher rates of depression were not very worried about getting severely ill from an infection. The share of students who drunk systematically did not change during the COVID-19 outbreak, their rate is low (0% - 2.2%) and they do not report high rates of depressive symptoms. Depression scores seem to be affected by relationship status, the degree of contacts with friends, and the availability of a trusted person. Results indicate that the fewer the contacts with friends are, the higher the mean depression score is. Conclusions The results confirm the gender-gap in depression and are in line with evidence indicating the high prevalence of depression among women in Greece in the aftermath of austerity and recession. As Greece was one of the South-European countries hardest hit by economic crisis, it is possible that negative effects of the crisis have had a cumulative effect on students' mental health in the pandemic.

Anna Schlomann ◽  
Mareike Bünning ◽  
Lena Hipp ◽  
Hans-Werner Wahl

AbstractExisting theories of aging suggest that there may be similarities and differences in how COVID-19 impacts older people’s psychosocial adaptation compared to younger age groups, particularly middle-aged individuals. To assess the degree to which these impacts vary, we analyzed data from 3098 participants between the ages of 40 and 79 from an online survey in Germany. Data were collected at three measurement occasions between the start of the nationwide lockdown in mid-March 2020 and the end of the lockdown in early August 2020. The survey focused on everyday experiences during the COVID-19 crisis and collected various satisfaction ratings (e.g., general life satisfaction, satisfaction with family life, satisfaction with social contacts). At baseline, participants also provided retrospective ratings of satisfaction for the period before the COVID-19 crisis. In our analyses, we compared satisfaction ratings of middle-aged (40–64 years) and older individuals (65–79 years) and found that both middle-aged and older participants experienced the greatest decreases in satisfaction with social contacts, with more pronounced decreases seen in middle-aged participants. A similar pattern was observed for general life satisfaction, but the overall decreases were less pronounced in both groups compared to the decreases in satisfaction with social contacts. We also observed a partial recovery effect in all measures at the last measurement occasion, and this effect was more pronounced in older adults. Findings were also confirmed using age as a continuous variable and checking for linear and nonlinear effects of outcomes across the age range. Although ageism arose during the pandemic in the sense that older adults were labeled as a “risk group,” particularly at the start of the outbreak, we found consistently with other studies that middle-aged adults’ satisfaction decreased to a greater extent than that of older adults.

BMJ Open ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (10) ◽  
pp. e050651
Emanuele Del Fava ◽  
Jorge Cimentada ◽  
Daniela Perrotta ◽  
André Grow ◽  
Francesco Rampazzo ◽  

ObjectivesWe investigate changes in social contact patterns following the gradual introduction of non-pharmaceutical interventions and their implications for infection transmission in the early phase of the pandemic.Design, setting and participantsWe conducted an online survey based on targeted Facebook advertising campaigns across eight countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA), achieving a sample of 51 233 questionnaires in the period 13 March–12 April 2020. Poststratification weights based on census information were produced to correct for selection bias.Outcome measuresParticipants provided data on social contact numbers, adoption of protective behaviours and perceived level of threat. These data were combined to derive a weekly index of infection transmission, the net reproduction number Rt .ResultsEvidence from the USA and UK showed that the number of daily contacts mainly decreased after governments issued the first physical distancing guidelines. In mid-April, daily social contact numbers had decreased between 61% in Germany and 87% in Italy with respect to pre-COVID-19 levels, mostly due to a contraction in contacts outside the home. Such reductions, which were uniform across age groups, were compatible with an Rt equal or smaller than one in all countries, except Germany. This indicates lower levels of infection transmission, especially in a period of gradual increase in the adoption rate of the face mask outside the home.ConclusionsWe provided a comparable set of statistics on social contact patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic for eight high-income countries, disaggregated by week and other demographic factors, which could be leveraged by the scientific community for developing more realistic epidemic models of COVID-19.

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