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Health Risks and Consequences of a COVID-19 Infection for People with Disabilities: Scoping Review and Descriptive Thematic Analysis
Review

Lockdown-Related Disparities Experienced by People with Disabilities during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Scoping Review with Thematic Analysis

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Global Health and Tropical Medicine (GHTM) & WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Workforce Policy and Planning, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, NOVA University of Lisbon, 1349-008 Lisbon, Portugal
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Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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Department of Occupational Therapy, Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
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Departments of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, and Sociology, School of Health Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309-4452, USA
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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA
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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA 02130, USA
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Department of Clinical Psychology, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA 98119, USA
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Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205-2196, USA
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IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, 48009 Bilbao, Spain
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Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, 48903 Barakaldo, Spain
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Department of Cell Biology and Histology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 48940 Leioa, Spain
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Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), South Asia Centre for Disability Inclusive Development and Research (SACDIR), Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad 500033, India
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membership of the Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine is provided in the Author Contributions.
Academic Editor: Dikaios Sakellariou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126178
Received: 1 March 2021 / Revised: 16 April 2021 / Accepted: 17 April 2021 / Published: 8 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Healthcare Disparities)
People with disabilities may be disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We synthesize the literature on broader health and social impacts on people with disabilities arising from lockdown-related measures. Methods: Scoping review with thematic analysis. Up to mid-September 2020, seven scientific databases and three pre-print servers were searched to identify empirical or perspective papers addressing lockdown-related disparities experienced by people with disabilities. Snowballing searches and experts’ consultation also occurred. Two independent reviewers took eligibility decisions and performed data extractions. Results: Out of 1026 unique references, 85 addressed lockdown-related disparities experienced by people with disabilities. Ten primary and two central themes were identified: (1) Disrupted access to healthcare (other than for COVID-19); (2) Reduced physical activity leading to health and functional decline; (3) From physical distance and inactivity to social isolation and loneliness; (4) Disruption of personal assistance and community support networks; (5) Children with disabilities disproportionally affected by school closures; (6) Psychological consequences of disrupted routines, activities, and support; (7) Family and informal caregiver burden and stress; (8) Risks of maltreatment, violence, and self-harm; (9) Reduced employment and/or income exacerbating disparities; and (10) Digital divide in access to health, education, and support services. Lack of disability-inclusive response and emergency preparedness and structural, pre-pandemic disparities were the central themes. Conclusions: Lockdown-related measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic can disproportionally affect people with disabilities with broader impact on their health and social grounds. Lack of disability-inclusive response and emergency preparedness and pre-pandemic disparities created structural disadvantages, exacerbated during the pandemic. Both structural disparities and their pandemic ramifications require the development and implementation of disability-inclusive public health and policy measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; health equity; social determinants of health; people with disabilities; public health; healthcare disparities; discrimination; stigma; social inclusion COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; health equity; social determinants of health; people with disabilities; public health; healthcare disparities; discrimination; stigma; social inclusion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jesus, T.S.; Bhattacharjya, S.; Papadimitriou, C.; Bogdanova, Y.; Bentley, J.; Arango-Lasprilla, J.C.; Kamalakannan, S.; The Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Lockdown-Related Disparities Experienced by People with Disabilities during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Scoping Review with Thematic Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126178

AMA Style

Jesus TS, Bhattacharjya S, Papadimitriou C, Bogdanova Y, Bentley J, Arango-Lasprilla JC, Kamalakannan S, The Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Lockdown-Related Disparities Experienced by People with Disabilities during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Scoping Review with Thematic Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126178

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jesus, Tiago S., Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, Christina Papadimitriou, Yelena Bogdanova, Jacob Bentley, Juan C. Arango-Lasprilla, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, and The Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2021. "Lockdown-Related Disparities Experienced by People with Disabilities during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Scoping Review with Thematic Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 12: 6178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126178

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