Social isolation

Fear, Isolation, and Invisibility during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study of Adults with Physical Disabilities in Marginalized Communities in Southeastern Michigan in the United States

This study published in the journal Disabilities examines the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities in southeastern Michigan, one of the early pandemic epicenters in the United States. The study used semi-structured, qualitative interviews with 15 adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities. Three overarching themes emerged: fear, feelings of isolation, and a sense of being invisible. The article is available free in full text.


Social Isolation and Loneliness Among People with Disabilities Pre- to Post-COVID

This article highlights a research report looks into social isolation and loneliness among people with disabilities during COVID lockdowns. This data was collected in 2021, one year into the pandemic, but before vaccine roll-out. The authors compare this post-COVID to previously collected data pre-COVID to see what has changed. The previous report is available at


NIDILRR Social Isolation and Loneliness Webinar Series

In 2021, NIDILRR hosted a national series on research related to social isolation and loneliness for people with disabilities. 

October 2021: Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic


America at a glance: Social isolation and loneliness during the first wave of COVID-19

This paper compared data from two cross-sectional samples collected before and after the first wave of “stay-at-home” orders to learn more about how COVID-19 and related responses (i.e. stay-at-home orders) may contribute to feelings of social isolation and loneliness among people with disabilities. Social isolation and loneliness are a public health concern because they are associated with poor mental and physical health outcomes and mortality. Post-COVID rural and urban samples reported significantly more interactions with family and close friends.

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