- Autores: Tiago Silva Jesus, Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, Christina Papadimitriou, Yelena Bogdanova, Jacob Bentley, Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, The Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Ano de Publicação: 2021
- Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(12), art 6178
- Link: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126178
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.
COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; health equity; social determinants of health; people with disabilities; public health; healthcare disparities; discrimination; stigma; social inclusion.