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Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 204, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412693


BACKGROUND: People with disabilities (PwD) have been facing multiple health, social, and economic disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic, stemming from structural disparities experienced for long time. This paper aims to present the PREparedness, RESponse and SySTemic transformation (PRE-RE-SyST): a model for a disability-inclusive pandemic responses and systematic disparities reduction. METHODS: Scoping review with a thematic analysis was conducted on the literature published up to mid-September 2020, equating to the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven scientific databases and three preprint databases were searched to identify empirical or perspective papers addressing health and socio-economic disparities experienced by PwD as well as reporting actions to address them. Snowballing searches and experts' consultation were also conducted. Two independent reviewers made eligibility decisions and performed data extractions on any action or recommended action to address disparities. A thematic analysis was then used for the model construction, informed by a systems-thinking approach (i.e., the Iceberg Model). RESULTS: From 1027 unique references, 84 were included in the final analysis. The PRE-RE-SyST model articulates a four-level strategic action to: 1) Respond to prevent or reduce disability disparities during a pandemic crisis; 2) Prepare ahead for pandemic and other crises responses; 3) Design systems and policies for a structural disability-inclusiveness; and 4) Transform society's cultural assumptions about disability. 'Simple rules' and literature-based examples on how these strategies can be deployed are provided. CONCLUSION: The PRE-RE-SyST model articulates main strategies, 'simple rules' and possible means whereby public health authorities, policy-makers, and other stakeholders can address disability disparities in pandemic crises, and beyond. Beyond immediate pandemic responses, disability-inclusiveness is needed to develop everyday equity-oriented policies and practices that can transform societies towards greater resiliency, as a whole, to pandemic and other health and social emergencies.

COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , Pandemics , Public Health Practice , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Models, Organizational , Pandemics/prevention & control
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(12)2021 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259503


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 , Disabled Persons , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194648


This study aims to synthesize the literature on any disproportionate health risks or consequences of a COVID-19 infection for people with disabilities. Scoping review with a descriptive thematic analysis was carried out. Up to mid-September 2020, seven scientific databases and three preprint servers were searched to identify empirical or perspective papers. Snowballing searches and expert' consultations also took place. Two independent reviewers were used for the screenings and data extractions. Of 1027 references, 58 were included, 15 of which were empirical articles. The thematic analysis showed that: (1) People with disabilities living in residential or long-term care facilities were more likely to have greater infection rates; (2) Intersecting mediators of greater infection risks were multiple (e.g., lack of accessible information); (3) People with disabilities often face greater health problems when infected; and (4) Unethical disadvantages in the rationing of lifesaving and critical care can be experienced by people with disabilities. Conclusions: Beyond any health-related vulnerabilities (e.g., comorbidity rates), multiple yet modifiable environmental factors can provide disproportionate health risks and consequences of a COVID-19 infection for people with disabilities. Public health and policy measures must prevent or reduce modifiable environmental risks.

COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl ; 2(4): 100079, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-722623


OBJECTIVES: To develop a protocol for a scoping review mapping as well as thematically analyzing the literature on the effect of, and responses to, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, focused on people with disabilities with other layers of individual vulnerability or social disadvantage. METHODS: We will search scientific databases (Medline/PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, AgeLine, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC) and preprint servers (MedRxiv, SocArXiv, PsyArXiv). Google searches, snowballing, and key-informant strategies were also used, including a focus on the gray literature (eg, official reports). Peer-reviewed and preprint publications will be covered in 6 languages, and the gray literature in English. Publications will be included if they address individuals with disabilities; the COVID-19 pandemic or subsequent socioeconomic or occupational effects; and individual or social vulnerabilities, including any form of discrimination, marginalization, or social disadvantage. Two independent reviewers will perform eligibility decisions and key data extractions. Beyond mapping the literature, the results will thematically analyze any disproportionate risks people with disabilities and other forms of vulnerability experience in terms of being infected by COVID-19, having severe health consequences, and facing negative socioeconomic effects. Actions taken or recommended to reduce identified inequalities will also be synthesized. Our entire research team, with diverse backgrounds, will be involved in the synthesis. CONCLUSIONS: This review, which we plan to expedite, aims to inform policy makers, health authorities, disability advocates, and other stakeholders regarding the needs and ways to promote equity and disability-inclusive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant socioeconomic shockwaves.