The early identification of fragile populations in the Covid-19 era would help governments to allocate resources and plan strategies to contain consequences of the pandemic. Beyond frailty, social vulnerability to environmental stressors, such as the social distancing enforced to reduce the SARS-CoV2 contagion, can modify long-term disease risk and induce health status changes in the general population. We assessed frailty and social vulnerability indices in 1,258 Italian residents during the first lockdown phase via an on-line survey. We compared indices taking into account age categories and gender. While frailty showed a linear increase with age and was greater in females than in males, social vulnerability was higher in young adults and elders compared to middle aged and older adults, and in males than females. Both frailty and social vulnerability contributed in explaining the individual perception of the impact of Covid-19 emergency on health, which was further influenced by proactive attitudes/behaviors and social isolation. Social isolation and loneliness following the Covid-19 outbreak may exert dramatic psychosocial effects in the general population. The early detection of vulnerable categories, at risk to become ill and develop long-lasting health status changes, would help to prevent consequences on general well-being by allocating resources to targeted interventions managing psychosocial distress and increasing young adults and elderly resilience toward the post-Covid-19 crisis.

Identifying Frail Populations for Disease Risk Prediction and Intervention Planning in the Covid-19 Era: A Focus on Social Isolation and Vulnerability

Cerami, Chiara;Santi, Gaia Chiara;Galandra, Caterina;Cappa, Stefano F.;Vecchi, Tomaso;Crespi, Chiara
2021

Abstract

The early identification of fragile populations in the Covid-19 era would help governments to allocate resources and plan strategies to contain consequences of the pandemic. Beyond frailty, social vulnerability to environmental stressors, such as the social distancing enforced to reduce the SARS-CoV2 contagion, can modify long-term disease risk and induce health status changes in the general population. We assessed frailty and social vulnerability indices in 1,258 Italian residents during the first lockdown phase via an on-line survey. We compared indices taking into account age categories and gender. While frailty showed a linear increase with age and was greater in females than in males, social vulnerability was higher in young adults and elders compared to middle aged and older adults, and in males than females. Both frailty and social vulnerability contributed in explaining the individual perception of the impact of Covid-19 emergency on health, which was further influenced by proactive attitudes/behaviors and social isolation. Social isolation and loneliness following the Covid-19 outbreak may exert dramatic psychosocial effects in the general population. The early detection of vulnerable categories, at risk to become ill and develop long-lasting health status changes, would help to prevent consequences on general well-being by allocating resources to targeted interventions managing psychosocial distress and increasing young adults and elderly resilience toward the post-Covid-19 crisis.
COVID-19
frailty
social vulnerability
psychosocial variables
social isolation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/11076
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