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

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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 (IIPH-H), Hyderabad 500 033, India
2
Department of Occupational Therapy, Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA
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Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA
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Departments of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309-4452, USA
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IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, 48903 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, 48903 Leioa, Spain
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Department of Clinical Psychology, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA 98119, USA
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Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205-2196, USA
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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
12
Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston University, MA 02215, USA
*
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 Editors: Dikaios Sakellariou and Hisayo Katsui
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084348
Received: 1 March 2021 / Revised: 8 April 2021 / Accepted: 16 April 2021 / Published: 20 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Healthcare Disparities)
This study aims to synthesize the literature on any disproportionate health risks or consequences of a COVID-19 infection for people with disabilities. Scoping review with a descriptive thematic analysis was carried out. Up to mid-September 2020, seven scientific databases and three preprint servers were searched to identify empirical or perspective papers. Snowballing searches and expert’ consultations also took place. Two independent reviewers were used for the screenings and data extractions. Of 1027 references, 58 were included, 15 of which were empirical articles. The thematic analysis showed that: (1) People with disabilities living in residential or long-term care facilities were more likely to have greater infection rates; (2) Intersecting mediators of greater infection risks were multiple (e.g., lack of accessible information); (3) People with disabilities often face greater health problems when infected; and (4) Unethical disadvantages in the rationing of lifesaving and critical care can be experienced by people with disabilities. Conclusions: Beyond any health-related vulnerabilities (e.g., comorbidity rates), multiple yet modifiable environmental factors can provide disproportionate health risks and consequences of a COVID-19 infection for people with disabilities. Public health and policy measures must prevent or reduce modifiable environmental risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; health equity; disabled persons; vulnerable populations; public health COVID-19; health equity; disabled persons; vulnerable populations; public health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kamalakannan, S.; Bhattacharjya, S.; Bogdanova, Y.; Papadimitriou, C.; Arango-Lasprilla, J.C.; Bentley, J.; Jesus, T.S.; Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Health Risks and Consequences of a COVID-19 Infection for People with Disabilities: Scoping Review and Descriptive Thematic Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4348. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084348

AMA Style

Kamalakannan S, Bhattacharjya S, Bogdanova Y, Papadimitriou C, Arango-Lasprilla JC, Bentley J, Jesus TS, Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Health Risks and Consequences of a COVID-19 Infection for People with Disabilities: Scoping Review and Descriptive Thematic Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):4348. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084348

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kamalakannan, Sureshkumar, Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, Yelena Bogdanova, Christina Papadimitriou, Juan C. Arango-Lasprilla, Jacob Bentley, Tiago S. Jesus, and Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2021. "Health Risks and Consequences of a COVID-19 Infection for People with Disabilities: Scoping Review and Descriptive Thematic Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 8: 4348. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084348

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