Kathleen Melei, OTD, OTR/L, CLIPP
Jill Linder, DHSc, OTR/L
Background: Social isolation during COVID-19 has the capacity to impact older adults’ physical health, mental health, and quality of life. Using an occupational therapy perspective of social participation as an occupation, the current study explores (a) the extent to which social participation (habits/routines) has changed following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, (b) differences in perceptions of social participation in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and (c) differences in scores on the COVID-19 Quality of Life (COV19-QoL) scale by demographics, access to health care, and lifestyle routine.
Method: Community-dwelling adults (N = 230) 65 years of age or older completed an online survey providing demographic data to identify changes in social participation habits, routines, and perceptions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the COV19-QoL scale.
Results: Analyses revealed significant differences in reported routines, perceptions, and COV19-QoL scores across various demographic groups.
Conclusion: This study identified a significant shift in social participation and a need for increased consideration of performance skills, education, and improved quality of social opportunities. Limited representation in the sample and the use of novel instruments indicate a need for further study.
Melei, K., & Linder, J. (2022). From Isolation to Connection: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Older Adults’ Social Participation Using the COV19-QoL Scale. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 10(3), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1929