COVID-19 resources

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The effect of funeral practices on bereaved friends and relatives' mental health and bereavement: implications for COVID-19

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West

This rapid evidence review explores the effect of funeral practices, such as including restrictions in size, on friends; and relatives' mental health and bereavement. The review found evidence regarding a relationship between mental health or bereavement outcomes and funeral attendance or participation is inconclusive. It found no systematic reviews in this area. Eleven relevant observational studies of low to moderate quality were identified and these had inconsistent findings (eight from the USA, one each from the Netherlands, Australia and Rwanda). It concludes research is needed to better understand the experiences and consequences of grief and bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 10 June 2020

The effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on health-related quality of life in children

Children and Youth Services Review

Introduction: The study was conducted to examine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on health-related quality of life in children. Materials and methods: The study was conducted with 597 children aged 7–13 and their parents using the online data collection tool via social media. Socio-demographic form and Generic Health-related Quality of Life Questionnaire for Children (Kid-KINDL) were used to collect the data. SPSS 23.0 program, descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis variance analysis were used to evaluate the data. Results: During the pandemic, 41.5% of the parents stated that their child gained weight, tendency to sleep of 34.2% and tendency to use the Internet of 69.3% increased. The average self-reported quality of life score of the children was found to be 73.91 ± 8.44. The self-esteem sub-dimension score of the children whose tendency to sleep increased during the pandemic (p < 0.05); and the physical well-being (p < 0.001), emotional well-being (p < 0.001), self-esteem (p < 0.001), family (p < 0.01), school (p < 0.05) sub-dimensions and total (p < 0.05) score averages of the children whose tendency to use the Internet were found to be lower. The emotional well-being, family and friends sub-dimensions as well as total average scores of the children of the parents who feel fear/anxiety about coronavirus becoming a pandemic and who stated that lockdown negatively affected their mental health were found to be lower (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Although self-reported quality of life scores of children were generally good, parents reported that their children gained weight, tendency to sleep and internet use increased during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 23 December 2020

The effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on people affected by dementia

House of Commons Library

A short debate pack with background material, statistics, parliamentary proceedings and news material relevant to a House of Commons' debate on the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on people affected by dementia.

Last updated on hub: 11 November 2020

The end of lockdown? The last six months in the lives of families raising disabled children

Family Fund

Findings of a study to understand how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting families raising disabled or seriously ill children in the UK and the need and concerns they have as a result of the pandemic. This document draws on three waves of online surveys, as well as in-depth interviews with a sample of families. In total more than 7,000 families raising 9,000 disabled or seriously ill children have participated in the research. The study demonstrates that the increased pressures and ongoing lack of support appear to be having a lasting negative impact on the financial and mental wellbeing of families raising disabled or seriously ill children. More specifically, the findings reveal that: half of families have lost income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and more than three quarters are experiencing increased household costs; two in five families have seen their savings reduce, leaving seven in 10 families with no money to fall back on and increasing levels of debt; more than three in five families have seen the levels of formal and informal support decrease since the coronavirus outbreak, with many still going without vital forms of support; the mental health and wellbeing of the majority of disabled or seriously ill children, as well as their siblings and parent carers, has been negatively impacted, and showing little signs of recovery. The report concludes by arguing that addressing these health and wellbeing needs, as well as their growing financial and support needs are the most pressing priorities put forward by families.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

The experience of care home staff during Covid-19: a survey report by the QNI's International Community Nursing Observatory

The Queen's Nursing Institute

Findings of a survey a survey to understand more about the impact of Covid-19 on the care home nurse workforce within the UK. The survey was distributed online via the QNI Care Home Nurse Network (n~400 members), ranging from staff delivering care directly to residents, to leaders overseeing several homes. There was a total of 163 responses to the survey, equating to a response rate of 41%. The analysis shows that for the majority of respondents working through the pandemic resulted in very negative experiences such as not being valued, poor terms and conditions of employment, feeling unsupported/blamed for deaths, colleagues in other areas refusing help, feeling pressured to take residents from hospitals with unknown Covid-19 status and lack of clear guidance. 66% of respondents reported always having appropriate PPE and 75% reported that their employer had provided all their PPE. During March and April 2020, 21% reported receiving residents from the hospital sector who had tested positive for Covid-19 in hospital and 43% reported receiving residents from the hospital with an unknown Covid-19 status. Being able to access other services was an issue for some respondents. A significant proportion of respondents reported it was somewhat difficult or very difficult to access hospital care, GP services, District Nursing services, end of life medication/services. 56% of respondents felt worse or much worse in terms of their physical and mental wellbeing, while 36% reported no change. Only 62 respondents stated that they could take time off with full pay, while some felt pressure not to take time off at all.

Last updated on hub: 27 August 2020

The experience of older people instructed to shield or self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic

English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

19 pandemic A vital weapon in the fight against COVID-19 has been the shielding of clinically extremely vulnerable individuals at high risk, and instructions to clinically vulnerable people at moderate risk to stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact as far as possible. The consequences of this advice for mental health and well-being are not well understood. The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing COVID-19 Substudy provided an opportunity to evaluate impact on mental health, quality of life, social connectedness, worries, and health-related behaviour in more than 5,800 older men and women (mean age 70 years). We found that although most individuals instructed by the NHS or their GPs to isolate and avoid face-to-face contact stayed at home as far as possible (defined as high risk), only 60% were strictly isolating. The high risk participants experienced higher levels of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, and reduced quality of life compared with others, and this was particularly marked among those who were isolating. Poor mental health was not related to reductions in social contacts, but there were higher levels of worry about obtaining food and other essentials. Physical activity was reduced and sleep impaired among high risk participants. The advice to people at risk may have saved lives and reduced infection, but it has come at a cost. If future outbreaks of COVID-19 require the reintroduction of shielding and avoidance of face-to-face contact, efforts should be made to allay concerns and encourage health promoting behaviour so as to avoid further impairment of the quality of life and mental health.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

The experience of older people with multimorbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic

English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

The risk of severe COVID-19 disease is known to be higher in older individuals with multiple long-term health conditions (multimorbidity). In this briefing, we report the latest findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing COVID-19 Substudy on the experiences of older people with multimorbidity during the pandemic. Not all people with multimorbidity would be classified as clinically vulnerable. We found that 35% of older individuals with multimorbidity were instructed by the NHS or their GP to shield (staying at home at all times and avoiding any face-to-face contact) on account of their vulnerability, and the majority were largely compliant with this advice. Relative to study members without multimorbidity, respondents with multimorbidity were more likely to report poor sleep quality, eating less, and being worried about not having enough food and other essentials. Unhealthy behaviours (sitting time, physical inactivity etc), poor mental health, and loneliness deteriorated considerably during the lockdown and in the two months following the lockdown. Access to medications among people with multimorbidity was not a problem, however, a fifth of individuals with multimorbidity did not have access to community health, social care services and support from other health professionals (e.g., dentist, podiatrist). When considering policies which advise people to shield or self-isolate because of their COVID-19 risk, it is important for policymakers to acknowledge that older people with multiple long-term health conditions are at higher risk of experiencing greater mental distress and worry, of engaging in unhealthy behaviours and are less likely to access health services when needed; all these factors together could potentially influence disease progression.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

The experience of people approaching later life in lockdown: the impact of COVID-19 on 50-70-year olds in England

Ipsos MORI

Explores how people in their 50s and 60s experienced the COVID-19 pandemic; the future expectations and intentions of this age group, and how have these been shaped by the pandemic; and the implications of this for a future policy agenda. The report, which focuses on home and community, health and wellbeing and work and money, draws on a literature review exploring the latest evidence in relation to these policy areas; a survey of 1,000 people aged 50-70-years within England; and a longitudinal qualitative research with 19 purposively selected participants designed to reflect a range of different experiences. The findings highlight the correlation between age and health outcomes during the pandemic – there was a decline in physical health for one in five respondents while more than a third said their mental health got worse. Overall, the report finds that the lockdown has been tough on some – many people have seen their health deteriorate with more unhealthy behaviours, and more than two in five fear their finances will worsen in the year to come. But there have also been some positive changes, with many appreciating the time spent with family, helping their communities, a better work-life balance, and time to reflect on their careers and future. The report stresses that as the lockdown restrictions ease it will still take time for things to get back to normal – the data shows that two in five respondents think that it will take at least one to two years or longer.

Last updated on hub: 03 August 2020

The First Wave: perspectives and learning from the COVID-19 pandemic


These essays offer a range of personal perspectives of those who have worked through the Covid-19 crisis, including in support of key health and care services and the local communities. The Covid-19 outbreak led to a full-scale mobilisation of resources across health, local government, the voluntary sector and local communities in response. These reflections focus on the lessons from the pandemic; the role of people power, including the voluntary sector; and how to build back better, supporting the recovery phase and transforming services. The essays cover an array of topics, including: international lessons, the importance of public engagement, digital transformation, volunteering in the pandemic and the value of kindness in the workplace, supporting system recovery and positive changes, and improving health and care outcomes through greater collaboration.

Last updated on hub: 13 August 2020

The four pandemics

Smith College Studies in Social Work

COVID 19 interacts with white supremacy, economic insecurity and political terrorism, adversely affecting many people and populations. This article considers the consequences of these four interacting pandemics and suggests that social work, particularly clinical social work, requires radical revisioning and decolonizing to be able to ethically and adequately serve affected people.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020