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The impact of the COVID pandemic on working age adults with disability: Meta‐analysis of evidence from four national surveys

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Eric Emerson
  • Zoe Aitken
  • Vaso Totsika
  • Tania King
  • Roger J. Stancliffe
  • Chris Hatton
  • Gwynnyth Llewellyn
  • Richard P. Hastings
  • Anne Kavanagh
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Health and Social Care in the Community
Issue number6
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)e4758-e4769
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/06/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Concern has been expressed about the extent to which people with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable to negative impacts of the 2020 COVID‐19 pandemic. However, to date little published research has attempted to characterise or quantify the risks faced by people with/without disabilities in relation to COVID‐19. We sought to compare the impact of the early stages of the COVID‐19 pandemic and associated government responses among working age adults with and without disabilities in the UK on; COVID‐19 outcomes, health and wellbeing, employment and financial security, health behaviours, and conflict and trust. We undertook secondary analysis of data collected in four UK longitudinal surveys; the Millennium Cohort Study, Next Steps, the British Cohort Study and the National Child Development Study. Combining analyses across surveys with random effects meta‐analysis, there was evidence that people with disabilities were significantly more likely to report having had COVID‐19 and had significantly increased levels of stress, less exercise, poorer sleep patterns, more conflict with their partner and others in their local area, and to have less trust in the government. While most outcomes did not differ significantly between participants with and without disability, the findings suggest that in the early days of COVID‐19 a detrimental impact emerges for those with disabilities which is more pronounced among older people with disabilities. Future research is needed to determine the longer‐term impact of the pandemic.