University of Montana Rural Institute
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health
Increased risk and fear of exposure to COVID-19 may impact social isolation and loneliness among vulnerable populations who are disproportionately at risk of COVID-19 complications, like people with disabilities. In a previous report, research findings showed people with disabilities experienced more than double the rates of social isolation and loneliness compared to those without disabilities before the COVID-19 pandemic. While recent data indicates rates of social isolation and loneliness have increased for the general population with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, less is known how rates of social isolation and loneliness have shifted for people with disabilities. Data in this report suggest people with disabilities experienced more social isolation but lower rates of loneliness pre-to post-COVID-19, that opportunities to engage online may protect against loneliness, and Centers for Independent Living have played a significant role in addressing social isolation of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
health and wellness, rural, disability
© 2021 RTC:Rural
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
The contents of this publication were developed under two grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RTCP0002 – RTC:Rural at the University of Montana and NIDILRR grant number 90DP0075 – Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living at the University of Kansas). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
90RTCP0002-01-00 and 90DP0075
Ipsen, C. & Gimm, G. (December, 2021). Research Report: Social isolation and loneliness experiences among people with disabilities before and during COVID-19. Missoula, MT: The University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities. Retrieved from: https://scholarworks.umt.edu/ruralinst_health_wellness