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A Systematic Review on the Impact of the Social Confinement on People with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Caregivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Article

The Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Comparison between Caregivers of Autistic and Non-Autistic Individuals in Italy

Psychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Catania, Via Santa Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Academic Editor: Antonio Narzisi
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(1), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12010116
Received: 13 December 2021 / Revised: 13 January 2022 / Accepted: 14 January 2022 / Published: 15 January 2022
The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted the daily routine of the population worldwide, including autistic people and their caregivers, with severe consequences on mental health. On one hand, the reduced social contacts and the interruption of outpatient and daycare services during the lockdown have represented a real challenge for autistic people and their caregivers. On the other hand, confinement has allowed individuals to spend more time pursuing their interests and stay home with their family members without feeling the pressure of social expectations. The present study aimed to compare the levels of personal wellbeing, family distress, insomnia, and resilience between caregivers of autistic people and caregivers of people with other neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, or relational disabilities. A web survey was completed by 383 participants, of which 141 were primary caregivers of autistic people. We did not find any significant difference between caregivers of autistic and non-autistic people in any of the considered psychological variables. Lower age of the autistic family member and lower resilience levels were significantly associated with higher individual distress in the group of caregivers of autistic people. Our findings do not corroborate the hypothesis that caregivers of autistic individuals have had more severe consequences than other caregivers during the lockdown. However, they confirm the importance of promoting resilient coping strategies in autistic people and their caregivers. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism; coronavirus; family caregiver; distress; general health; resilience autism; coronavirus; family caregiver; distress; general health; resilience
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fusar-Poli, L.; Martinez, M.; Surace, T.; Meo, V.; Patania, F.; Avanzato, C.; Signorelli, M.S.; Aguglia, E. The Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Comparison between Caregivers of Autistic and Non-Autistic Individuals in Italy. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 116. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12010116

AMA Style

Fusar-Poli L, Martinez M, Surace T, Meo V, Patania F, Avanzato C, Signorelli MS, Aguglia E. The Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Comparison between Caregivers of Autistic and Non-Autistic Individuals in Italy. Brain Sciences. 2022; 12(1):116. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12010116

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fusar-Poli, Laura, Miriam Martinez, Teresa Surace, Valeria Meo, Federica Patania, Chiara Avanzato, Maria S. Signorelli, and Eugenio Aguglia. 2022. "The Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Comparison between Caregivers of Autistic and Non-Autistic Individuals in Italy" Brain Sciences 12, no. 1: 116. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12010116

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