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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Social Isolation during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Physical and Mental Health: The Lived Experience of Adolescents with Obesity and Their Caregivers

1
Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Psychology Research Laboratory, 20145, Milan, Italy
2
Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, 20123 Milan, Italy
3
Department of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
4
Psychology Study Programme, Sigmund Freud University Vienna—Ljubljana Branch, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
5
Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Experimental Laboratory for Auxo-Endocrinological Research, 28824 Piancavallo (VB), Italy
6
Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Division of Auxology, 28824 Piancavallo (VB), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063026
Received: 2 February 2021 / Revised: 7 March 2021 / Accepted: 11 March 2021 / Published: 15 March 2021
Adolescence is a complex developmental phase, made more complex by obesity and the social isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The literature related to the impact of social isolation on obesity self-management in adolescents is scant and inconsistent. This paper describes the phenomenon from the perspectives of a sample of adolescents with obesity enrolled in an inpatients’ multidisciplinary rehabilitation program for weight-loss and their caregivers, and its impact on different life domains. Individual semi-structured ad hoc interviews were conducted with 10 adolescent-caregiver dyads, and narratives were qualitatively investigated using an interpretative phenomenology approach to data. Twenty participants took part in the study. The major themes that emerged from this study fall into five basic categories: (1) COVID-19 as an opportunity to reconsider what makes a good life; (2) Persistence in life; (3) Empowering relationship; (4) Daily routine in quarantine; (5) Lives on hold. Understandings drawn from this study may assist health care professionals in providing holistic support, and guidance to adolescents with weight-related issues and their caregivers who experience social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; adolescent; caregiver; lived experience; coronavirus disease; social isolation; self-management; interpretive phenomenology; content analysis; clinical psychology obesity; adolescent; caregiver; lived experience; coronavirus disease; social isolation; self-management; interpretive phenomenology; content analysis; clinical psychology
MDPI and ACS Style

Pietrabissa, G.; Volpi, C.; Bottacchi, M.; Bertuzzi, V.; Guerrini Usubini, A.; Löffler-Stastka, H.; Prevendar, T.; Rapelli, G.; Cattivelli, R.; Castelnuovo, G.; Molinari, E.; Sartorio, A. The Impact of Social Isolation during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Physical and Mental Health: The Lived Experience of Adolescents with Obesity and Their Caregivers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3026. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063026

AMA Style

Pietrabissa G, Volpi C, Bottacchi M, Bertuzzi V, Guerrini Usubini A, Löffler-Stastka H, Prevendar T, Rapelli G, Cattivelli R, Castelnuovo G, Molinari E, Sartorio A. The Impact of Social Isolation during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Physical and Mental Health: The Lived Experience of Adolescents with Obesity and Their Caregivers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):3026. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063026

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pietrabissa, Giada; Volpi, Clarissa; Bottacchi, Michela; Bertuzzi, Vanessa; Guerrini Usubini, Anna; Löffler-Stastka, Henriette; Prevendar, Tamara; Rapelli, Giada; Cattivelli, Roberto; Castelnuovo, Gianluca; Molinari, Enrico; Sartorio, Alessandro. 2021. "The Impact of Social Isolation during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Physical and Mental Health: The Lived Experience of Adolescents with Obesity and Their Caregivers" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 6: 3026. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063026

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