Disability and COVID-19

A special issue of Disabilities (ISSN 2673-7272).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 36288

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada
2. International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada
3. Rehabilitation Research Program, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2G9, Canada
Interests: aging; clinical trials; rehabilitation epidemiology; disability; fatigue; measurement; occupational therapy; social participation; adaptive physical activity; self-efficacy; technology; digital health; rehabilitation gaming; mobility

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada
2. International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada
3. Rehabilitation Research Program, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2G9, Canada
Interests: accessibility; accessible recreation; aging; assistive technology; caregiving; mobility; occupational therapy; outcome measures; participation; physical disability; quality of life; rehabilitation; robotics; self-management; social participation; spinal cord injury

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

People living with disabilities have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, some individuals (referred to as ‘long haulers’) have acquired physical and emotional disabilities as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Some have faced additional challenges due to the nature of their disability whilst following recommendations to reduce the spread of the disease. Many pandemic-related restrictions were implemented without consulting members of the disabled community, and although there have been benefits, such as increased access to online services, this has also presented a challenge for those who require in-person services. Finally, people with disabilities living in residential care also experienced extreme physical and social isolation.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to shed light on the intersections of disability and COVID-19 and could involve studies looking at policy, rehabilitation intervention and clinical practice, pandemic experience (e.g., social participation) as examples. We hope these studies will ultimately improve the experiences of disabled people living through the current pandemic and future catastrophic events. We encourage and welcome submissions across a broad range of topics and study types.

Prof. Dr. William C. Miller
Dr. W. Ben Mortenson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Disabilities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • disability
  • social participation
  • mobility
  • mental/physical health
  • technology
  • environment
  • quality of life

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Professional and Family Carers’ Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Supported Decision-Making with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Qualitative Online Survey
by Hannah Casey, Deirdre Desmond and Laura Coffey
Disabilities 2023, 3(2), 206-216; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3020014 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1564
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland varied in levels of severity throughout 2020 and 2021. The aim of the present study was to explore the experiences of professional and family carers in supporting people with intellectual disabilities to make their own decisions during [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland varied in levels of severity throughout 2020 and 2021. The aim of the present study was to explore the experiences of professional and family carers in supporting people with intellectual disabilities to make their own decisions during these restrictions. Methods: Participants recruited between July and December 2021 via social media, disability services, and academic experts completed a qualitative online survey. Results were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results: Data from 16 participants (eight professional carers, eight family carers) were included. Three main themes were identified: 1. centring the person, 2. adapting to COVID, and 3. restricted lives. Anxiety, confusion, and boredom among adults with intellectual disabilities during restrictions were reported by both professional and familial carers. Professional carers reported some positive outcomes, including greater chances for independence among service users and new activities becoming available via online resources. Family carers reported more negative outcomes, including isolation from disability services. Conclusions: People with intellectual disabilities had their choices markedly curtailed during the restrictions. Future studies should focus on improving the ability of services to reach users who may not have the ability to attend services in person. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
18 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Implementation of Telerehabilitation in an Early Supported Discharge Stroke Rehabilitation Program before and during COVID-19: An Exploration of Influencing Factors
by Louis-Pierre Auger, Emmanuelle Moreau, Odile Côté, Rosalba Guerrera, Annie Rochette and Dahlia Kairy
Disabilities 2023, 3(1), 87-104; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3010007 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
Objective: To identify the factors influencing the implementation of telerehabilitation (TR) in a post-stroke early supported discharge (ESD) rehabilitation program as perceived by clinicians and managers. Methods: A descriptive qualitative design was used in collaboration with a Canadian ESD stroke rehabilitation [...] Read more.
Objective: To identify the factors influencing the implementation of telerehabilitation (TR) in a post-stroke early supported discharge (ESD) rehabilitation program as perceived by clinicians and managers. Methods: A descriptive qualitative design was used in collaboration with a Canadian ESD stroke rehabilitation program. After 15 months of pre-COVID-19 implementation and 4 months of COVID-19 implementation, 9 stakeholders (7 clinicians, 1 coordinator and 1 manager) from an ESD program participated in 2 focus groups online or an individual interview. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed semi-deductively for the pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 phases using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Results: Four categories emerged related to the CFIR, each with themes: (1) Telerehabilitation, which included “Technology” and “Clinical activities”; (2) Telerehabilitation users, which included: “Clients’ characteristics” and “Clinicians’ characteristics”; (3) Society and healthcare system, which included “Changes related to COVID-19” and “ESD program”; and (4) TR implementation process, which included “Planning” and “Factors that influenced practice change”. Conclusions: Factors impacting TR implementation in the ESD program were found to be numerous and varied according to the pre-COVID-19 or COVID-19 phases. Clinicians’ motivation regarding potential gains for them in using TR was key in its implementation during the COVID-19 period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
25 pages, 705 KiB  
Article
Coping Strategies and Help-Seeking Behaviors of College Students and Postdoctoral Fellows with Disabilities or Pre-Existing Conditions during COVID-19
by Caro Wolfner, Corilyn Ott, Kalani Upshaw, Angela Stowe, Lisa Schwiebert and Robin Gaines Lanzi
Disabilities 2023, 3(1), 62-86; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3010006 - 08 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4156
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a global and multifaceted impact on public health. Marginalized and vulnerable populations, such as college students and postdoctoral fellows with disabilities or pre-existing conditions, are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Various barriers contribute to an [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a global and multifaceted impact on public health. Marginalized and vulnerable populations, such as college students and postdoctoral fellows with disabilities or pre-existing conditions, are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Various barriers contribute to an individual’s intentions to seek mental health help, but with COVID-19’s unprecedented permeability, more research is needed to support this student population. This phenomenological study explored the coping strategies and help-seeking behaviors of college students and postdoctoral fellows with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using semi-structured, in-depth interviews from fall 2020 (n = 36) and spring 2021 (n = 28), a thematic analysis was conducted. The Transactional Model of Stress and Coping was used to triangulate findings, to better understand the relationship between perceived stressors, coping mechanisms, and psychological outcomes. The findings show that (1) college students with disabilities coped in multiple ways (i.e., behavioral, relational, and mental), with some noting improvements in their coping abilities by spring, and (2) stigma prevented college students with disabilities from seeking help when needed. These findings emphasize the need for higher education to address ableism and use factors beneficial to fostering resiliency (i.e., social support, optimism, and self-advocacy) among college students with disabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
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16 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Experiences of People with Disabilities during the First Year of COVID-19 Restrictions in the Province of Quebec, Canada
by Noémie Fortin-Bédard, Marie-Eve Lamontagne, Naomie-Jade Ladry, David Bouchard, Josiane Lettre, Chantal Desmarais, Normand Boucher, Krista L. Best, Emilie Raymond, Patrick Fougeyrollas, Annie LeBlanc and François Routhier
Disabilities 2023, 3(1), 12-27; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3010002 - 06 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2823
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the province of Quebec, Canada implemented stringent measures to mitigate virus transmission, which considerably affected the life of people with disabilities (PWD). The objective of this study was to explore the experiences of PWD during the first year of [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the province of Quebec, Canada implemented stringent measures to mitigate virus transmission, which considerably affected the life of people with disabilities (PWD). The objective of this study was to explore the experiences of PWD during the first year of COVID-19 restrictions across the province. Participants who self-identified as having a disability in the Ma Vie et la pandémie study (MAVIPAN) were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview between December 2020 and May 2021. A mixed inductive and deductive approach was used to conduct a thematic analysis using NVivo 12. Forty PWD from Quebec, Canada participated in the interviews (mean [SD] age, 55.4 [15.5] years, 50% women). A deterioration in mental health and a reduction in social contact with loved ones were reported. PWD experienced delays and cessation of health services and reported feeling at risk of contracting severe strains of COVID-19 because of their health condition. Enhanced difficulties experienced by PWD and the lack of consideration specific to PWD by public authorities during COVID-19 was particularly concerning for participants in this study. Future studies should explore the value of implementing social programs specifically targeting PWD to enhance support as the pandemic continues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
11 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Anxiety and Social Support Are Associated with Loneliness among Adults with Disabilities and Older Adults with No Self-Reported Disabilities 10 Months Post COVID-19 Restrictions
by Niloufar Benam, William C. Miller, Gordon Tao, W. Ben Mortenson and Julia Schmidt
Disabilities 2023, 3(1), 1-11; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities3010001 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1957
Abstract
With increased physical restrictions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many individuals, especially older adults and individuals with disabilities, experienced increased feelings of loneliness. This study aimed to identify factors associated with loneliness among older adults and people with disabilities residing in [...] Read more.
With increased physical restrictions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many individuals, especially older adults and individuals with disabilities, experienced increased feelings of loneliness. This study aimed to identify factors associated with loneliness among older adults and people with disabilities residing in British Columbia (BC), Canada 10 months following COVID-19 physical restrictions. Participants included a total of 70 adults consisting of older adults (>65 years of age) without any self-reported disabilities and adults (aged 19 or above) with disabilities (e.g., stroke, spinal cord injury, etc.). Participants completed standardized self-report measures of their levels of anxiety, depression, social support, mobility, and loneliness. We used hierarchical linear regression to determine the association of age, sex, disability status, anxiety, depression, social support, and mobility with loneliness. Participants reported general low levels of loneliness, anxiety, and depression and an overall high level of perceived social support. Most participants reported living with others. Our analysis showed a positive association between anxiety and loneliness (β = 0.340, p = 0.011) and a negative association between social support and loneliness (β = −0.315, p = 0.006). There was no association between depression and loneliness (β = 0.210, p = 0.116) as well as between mobility and loneliness (β = −0.005, p = 0.968). These findings suggest that anxiety and social support have been significantly associated with loneliness in older adults and people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased efforts to reduce anxiety and improve social support in clinical and community settings may be helpful in reducing loneliness in older adults and people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
17 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Physical Activity and Social Isolation among Adults with Physical Disabilities Living in Canada and The Netherlands
by Kim Meijer, Trynke Hoekstra, Pim Brandenbarg, COVID-19 Disability Survey Group, ReSpAct 2.0 Group and Femke Hoekstra
Disabilities 2022, 2(4), 778-794; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2040054 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
Background: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among people with physical disabilities might differ between countries due to differences in implemented measures and infection rates. This study aimed to understand the impact of the pandemic on physical activity (PA) and social isolation among [...] Read more.
Background: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among people with physical disabilities might differ between countries due to differences in implemented measures and infection rates. This study aimed to understand the impact of the pandemic on physical activity (PA) and social isolation among adults with physical disabilities in Canada and the Netherlands, and examine associations between PA and social isolation. Methods: Secondary data from two studies were used: the Canadian COVID-19 Disability Survey (n = 353) and the Dutch Rehabilitation, Sports and Active lifestyle (ReSpAct) 2.0 study (n = 445). Self-reported PA was measured using IPAQ-SF and Adapted-SQUASH. Social isolation was measured using the PROMIS Social Isolation. Descriptive and regression analyses were performed. Results: Canadian participants spent on average 163 min (Median = 0; IQR = 120) on moderate-to-vigorous PA per week and Dutch participants 934 min (Median = 600; IQR = 1125). In Canada, 64% reported to have become less physically active since the pandemic compared to 37% of Dutch participants. In both samples, no clinically relevant associations were found between PA and social isolation. Conclusions: The findings emphasize the negative impact of the pandemic on PA and social isolation in adults with physical disabilities in Canada and the Netherlands. Future research is needed to better understand if and how PA can be used to reduce social isolation in people with disabilities. This study illustrates how cross-country collaborations and exchange provide opportunities to inspire and learn from initiatives and programs in other countries and may help to improve PA support among people with disabilities during and after the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
14 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
Experiences of Individuals Living with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) and Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI) during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Michelle M. Y. Wong, Merna Seliman, Eldon Loh, Swati Mehta and Dalton L. Wolfe
Disabilities 2022, 2(4), 750-763; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2040052 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1554
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for people living with acquired neurological conditions. Due to pandemic-related societal restrictions, changes in accessibility to medical care, equipment, and activities of daily living may affect the mental health of individuals with a SCI or ABI. This [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for people living with acquired neurological conditions. Due to pandemic-related societal restrictions, changes in accessibility to medical care, equipment, and activities of daily living may affect the mental health of individuals with a SCI or ABI. This study aimed to understand the impact of the pandemic on psychological wellbeing, physical health, quality of life, and delivery of care in persons living with SCI and ABI. A secondary objective included exploring the use of virtual services designed to meet these challenges. In a companion study, participants were surveyed using validated scales of psychosocial health, physical health and healthcare access. In this study, 11 individuals gathered from the survey participated in virtual individual semi-structured interviews to provide accounts of lived experiences regarding critical health challenges and eHealth. Two researchers independently coded interviews for themes using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Through analysis of interviews, 5 themes were identified regarding COVID-19 and recovery, access to care, virtual healthcare, systemic barriers, and coping. Overall, limited opportunities due to the pandemic led to a need for adaptation and multifaceted outcomes on one’s wellbeing, which provides guidance for future clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
14 pages, 595 KiB  
Article
‘One Step at a Time, One Day at a Time’: Life Profiles of Individuals with Disabilities across the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Rinni Mamman, Somayyeh Mohammadi, Isabelle Rash, Elham Esfandiari, William C. Miller, William Ben Mortenson and Julia Schmidt
Disabilities 2022, 2(4), 736-749; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2040051 - 02 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Individuals with disabilities underwent substantial changes in life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, little is known about the experiences of this population during the first year of the pandemic. Hence, drawing on data from a longitudinal mixed-methods study, this study aimed to [...] Read more.
Individuals with disabilities underwent substantial changes in life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, little is known about the experiences of this population during the first year of the pandemic. Hence, drawing on data from a longitudinal mixed-methods study, this study aimed to identify different COVID-19 life profiles among people with disabilities. Sixty-one participants were interviewed at four timepoints, which paralleled restriction changes in British Columbia, Canada. These data were analyzed to identify different life profiles over the course of the first year of the pandemic. The analysis identified three interlinked profiles: (1) ‘being in a straitjacket’ examines the increasing restriction-related frustrations experienced by participants; (2) ‘seizing the reins’ explores the positive routines that participants established by filling the gaps with meaningful activities; and (3) ‘staying content during COVID’ describes a ‘keep calm, carry on’ attitude, where minimal impact of the pandemic was observed by participants. The three COVID-19 life profiles provide insight to the challenges encountered, resources used, and the varying experiences of individuals with disabilities as they adjusted to a different way of living. These findings can facilitate future research that could develop interventions and services for individuals with disabilities in subsequent pandemics or disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
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13 pages, 684 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity, Well-Being, and the Needs of Canadians with Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Cameron M. Gee, Femke Hoekstra, Joan Úbeda-Colomer, Tara Joy Knibbe, Pinder DaSilva and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
Disabilities 2022, 2(4), 681-693; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2040048 - 04 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
Background: This study examined self-reported physical activity (PA) participation, well-being, and perceived needs of Canadians with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we assessed physical and mental health and the extent to which pre-identified needs were being met or unmet. Methods [...] Read more.
Background: This study examined self-reported physical activity (PA) participation, well-being, and perceived needs of Canadians with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we assessed physical and mental health and the extent to which pre-identified needs were being met or unmet. Methods: Two iterations of the COVID-19 Disability Survey were conducted during two pandemic timeframes: June–December 2020 (iteration 1, n = 599) and December 2020–September 2021 (iteration 2, n = 528). PA participation was assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Physical and mental health were assessed with the PROMIS Global-10 questionnaire. A needs assessment was conducted on 11 needs pre-identified in partnership with community organizations. Results: Approximately 50% of respondents to both iterations reported that they did not do any moderate-vigorous intensity PA. While physical health was not different between timeframes, mental health was worse during iteration 2 than iteration 1 (p = 0.028). During both timeframes, access to recreation and leisure facilities was the greatest unmet need. Conclusion: These data highlight the low levels of PA and the perceived changes in PA, mental health, and recreational needs of Canadians with disabilities during the pandemic. The findings of the Survey were used to support policy change to remove barriers to PA participation for people with disabilities in Ontario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
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13 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
Describing the Function, Disability, and Health of Adults and Older Adults during the Early Coronavirus Restrictions in 2019: An Online Survey
by Pegah Derakhshan, William C. Miller, Jaimie Borisoff, Elham Esfandiari, Sue Forwell, Tal Jarus, Somayyeh Mohammadi, Isabelle Rash, Brodie Sakakibara, Julia Schmidt, Gordon Tao, Noah Tregobov and William Ben Mortenson
Disabilities 2022, 2(4), 575-587; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2040041 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1537
Abstract
The restrictions in 2019 due to Coronavirus impacted Canadians’ daily living, especially those at higher risk of compromised health conditions. This study aimed to describe the physical, psychological, and social well-being of adults with disabilities, and older adults from May to June 2020. [...] Read more.
The restrictions in 2019 due to Coronavirus impacted Canadians’ daily living, especially those at higher risk of compromised health conditions. This study aimed to describe the physical, psychological, and social well-being of adults with disabilities, and older adults from May to June 2020. Participants from the group of community-dwelling adults (≥19 years of age), who communicated in English, lived in British Columbia, and had Internet access via a computer, tablet, or smartphone with special focus on populations who had stroke, spinal cord injury and other disabilities were included. For measurement outcomes, an online survey was used to administer standardized measures of level of participation, mobility, anxiety and depression, boredom, resilience, technology readiness, social support, and social networks. Seventy-two participants were recruited, with a mean age (SD) of 61.2 (13.8). This study was comprised of two groups: the adult group consisted of individuals with disabilities under the age of 65 (48.6%) and the older adult group consisted of individuals over the age of 65 with and without self-identified disability (51.4%). There was no significant difference in the proportion of participation restriction between adult (83%) and older adult’ (81%) groups (p = 0.69). In the study population, 27.8% and 16.7% of participants exceeded the anxiety and depression cut-off scores, respectively. Boredom was experienced by 76.4% of participants. Participants’ mean (SD) resilience and life space scores were 72.4 (14.0) and 51.9 (24.0), respectively. The older adults (≥65 years) showed significantly lower depression (p = 0.012) and better resilience (p = 0.038), social support (p = 0.043), and social network (p = 0.021) than the younger adults. Issues with anxiety, boredom, participation, and life space activity were identified in both study groups. This information may provide supporting evidence when creating policies to mitigate existent health and social inequities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
11 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Parent Support Is Related to Physical Activity among Children and Youth with Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from the National Physical Activity Measurement (NPAM) Study
by Maeghan E. James, Nikoleta Odorico, Sarah A. Moore, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter and Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos
Disabilities 2022, 2(3), 451-461; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2030032 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) among children and youth with disabilities (CYD) has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Parent PA support and parent PA modelling (i.e., parents engaging in PA themselves) have been shown to be associated with PA in CYD. However, parents’ [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) among children and youth with disabilities (CYD) has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Parent PA support and parent PA modelling (i.e., parents engaging in PA themselves) have been shown to be associated with PA in CYD. However, parents’ influence on the PA behaviours of CYD during the pandemic remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between parent PA support and parent PA modelling (i.e., parent moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA)) and the PA behaviours of CYD. It was hypothesized that higher levels of parent PA support and parent PA modelling would significantly relate to both child MVPA and child PA at any intensity. An online survey was sent to parents of CYD in November 2020 (i.e., during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada) that assessed the MVPA and total PA (any intensity), parent PA support (e.g., encouraging PA, providing transportation for PA), and parent MVPA. Separate linear regression models assessed the relationships between parent PA support and parent PA modelling with (a) child MVPA and (b) child PA at any intensity. Parent and child age, child gender and disability group, marital status, and household type were controlled for in all analyses. A total of 86 parents (Mage = 43 years, SD = 5.9; 93% mothers) of CYD (Mage = 11 years, SD = 3.3; 20% girls; 77% with a developmental disability) completed the survey. Parent PA support was significantly associated with child MVPA (β = 0.30, CI = 0.067–0.438, p = 0.008) but not child PA at any intensity. No significant relationship was shown between parent PA modelling and either child MVPA or child PA at any intensity. Findings suggest that parent PA support, but not parent PA modelling, was associated with PA in CYD, at least during the acute period of the pandemic. Greater efforts must be directed towards developing effective parent PA support interventions to reduce the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on PA in CYD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
17 pages, 1282 KiB  
Article
Experiences of Social Participation for Canadian Wheelchair Users with Spinal Cord Injury during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Noémie Fortin-Bédard, Annabelle de Serres-Lafontaine, Krista L. Best, Caroline Rahn, Elizabeth Turcotte, Jaimie Borisoff, Shane N. Sweet, Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos and François Routhier
Disabilities 2022, 2(3), 398-414; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2030028 - 02 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2536
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic caused drastic life changes for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The objective of the study is to explore the social participation of Canadian wheelchair users with SCI during the first wave of COVID-19. Methods: Fourteen participants from Quebec and [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused drastic life changes for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The objective of the study is to explore the social participation of Canadian wheelchair users with SCI during the first wave of COVID-19. Methods: Fourteen participants from Quebec and British Columbia participated in a multi methods cross-sectional study. Three themes were identified, including (1) perceived participation restrictions for people with SCI and their loved ones, which revealed interruptions and changes in service provision during COVID-19, barriers and inconveniences to maintaining life habits and strategies developed during the pandemic to continue participating in meaningful activities; (2) There was no change in life habits (but some subjects found new ways to perform some activities), which highlights that life simply continued as usual and the participants developed new pastimes and interests; and (3) future hopes and concerns, which explained participants’ concerns about changes in interpersonal relationships after the pandemic. This study highlights daily participation challenges for people with SCI during the pandemic. Even though the use of technologies, delivery services and social support seemed to facilitate engagement in meaningful activities, mental health challenges and concerns for future relationships persisted for some. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
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12 pages, 2171 KiB  
Article
State Anxiety in People Living with Disability and Visual Impairment during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Nikki Heinze, Claire L. Castle, Syeda F. Hussain, Lauren R. Godier-McBard, Theofilos Kempapidis and Renata S. M. Gomes
Disabilities 2022, 2(2), 235-246; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2020017 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2108
Abstract
There has been growing recognition of the impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions implemented to contain the virus on mental health. This study provides a preliminary assessment of the longitudinal impact on state anxiety in individuals with disabilities and a subsample of individuals [...] Read more.
There has been growing recognition of the impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions implemented to contain the virus on mental health. This study provides a preliminary assessment of the longitudinal impact on state anxiety in individuals with disabilities and a subsample of individuals with visual impairment (VI). Two surveys were conducted in April–May 2020 (T1) and March 2021 (T2) to explore state anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). Participants who consented to being re-contacted were invited to take part in T2. A total of 160 participants completed T1 and T2. There were no significant group differences in median anxiety at T1; however, at T2 anxiety was significantly higher in those with disabilities and there was a trend towards being higher in participants with VI compared to those with no disabilities. While not statistically significant within any of the three subgroups, state anxiety decreased slightly in those with no disabilities. The absence of a disability affecting mobility, experiencing loneliness, and poorer sleep quality predicted state anxiety at both timepoints. While anxiety appeared to decrease in individuals with no disabilities, it remained comparatively stable, and higher in those with disabilities. Loneliness and poor sleep may need to be addressed to alleviate feelings of anxiety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
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12 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
Fear, Isolation, and Invisibility during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study of Adults with Physical Disabilities in Marginalized Communities in Southeastern Michigan in the United States
by Lisa Reber, Jodi M. Kreschmer, Gina L. DeShong and Michelle A. Meade
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 119-130; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010010 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3258
Abstract
This study examines the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities in southeastern Michigan, one of the early pandemic epicenters in the United States. A purposeful sample of fifteen adults with moderate to severe physical disabilities [...] Read more.
This study examines the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities in southeastern Michigan, one of the early pandemic epicenters in the United States. A purposeful sample of fifteen adults with moderate to severe physical disabilities were recruited, taking part in individual remote semi-structured qualitative interviews, which were recorded, transcribed, and coded for emergent themes using a thematic approach to coding and analysis. Three interrelated, overarching themes emerged: fear, feelings of isolation, and a sense of being invisible. These were identified in the contexts of health and healthcare, home care assistance, and access to resources. The findings help illuminate the experiences of those from socioeconomically and racially marginalized communities, populations that are often “always already” vulnerable. Participant narratives made visible the negative impact of the pandemic on physical and mental health as well as the lack of accommodations available. They showed that participants were faced with a dilemma between engaging in risky behavior to have their needs met or avoiding risk and not have those needs met. This knowledge can expand awareness and appreciation of how social, economic, and political systems impact adults with physical disabilities in lower-income and racially diverse communities and provide guidance in designing future clinical and emergency response policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
15 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity Experiences of People with Multiple Sclerosis during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Alanna Koopmans and Chelsea Pelletier
Disabilities 2022, 2(1), 41-55; https://doi.org/10.3390/disabilities2010004 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2773
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, government and health officials introduced measures such as social distancing and facility closures that amplified barriers to physical activity. Certain groups, including people with multiple sclerosis (MS), have been underserved during the pandemic. In this qualitative study we aimed [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, government and health officials introduced measures such as social distancing and facility closures that amplified barriers to physical activity. Certain groups, including people with multiple sclerosis (MS), have been underserved during the pandemic. In this qualitative study we aimed to: (1) explore the physical activity experiences of people with MS during the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) identify the facilitators and barriers to physical activity during COVID-19 for people with MS; and (3) make recommendations for inclusive physical activity policy and programming. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 adults (9 women) with MS during January and February 2021. Following an inductive thematic analysis, three themes were developed: (1) changing opportunities and adapting to new opportunities; (2) social isolation and physical activity; and (3) adapting physical activity to stay safe from COVID-19. Common facilitators identified included having knowledge and resources to adapt activities, social connections, and access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Identified barriers included fear and anxiety related to the spread of the virus, a loss of in-person activity options, and the closure of physical activity spaces. Online and at-home opportunities for physical activity were a valued and accessible way to address barriers to physical activity for people with MS, and should be maintained post-pandemic while considering flexibility to accommodate variable support needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and COVID-19)
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