COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on social relationships and health

Long, E. et al. (2022) COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on social relationships and health. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 76(2), pp. 128-132. (doi: 10.1136/jech-2021-216690) (PMID:34413184) (PMCID:PMC8380476)

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Abstract

This essay examines key aspects of social relationships that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses explicitly on relational mechanisms of health and brings together theory and emerging evidence on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to make recommendations for future public health policy and recovery. We first provide an overview of the pandemic in the UK context, outlining the nature of the public health response. We then introduce four distinct domains of social relationships: social networks, social support, social interaction and intimacy, highlighting the mechanisms through which the pandemic and associated public health response drastically altered social interactions in each domain. Throughout the essay, the lens of health inequalities, and perspective of relationships as interconnecting elements in a broader system, is used to explore the varying impact of these disruptions. The essay concludes by providing recommendations for longer term recovery ensuring that the social relational cost of COVID-19 is adequately considered in efforts to rebuild.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Long, Dr Emily and Blake, Ms Carolyn and Mitchell, Professor Kirstin and Bosó Pérez, Raquel and Maxwell, Dr Karen and Riddell, Miss Julie and Lewis, Dr Ruth and Skivington, Dr Kathryn and Wilson-Lowe, Rachel and Patterson, Mrs Susan and McCann, Dr Mark
Authors: Long, E., Patterson, S., Maxwell, K., Blake, C., Bosó Pérez, R., Lewis, R., McCann, M., Riddell, J., Skivington, K., Wilson-Lowe, R., and Mitchell, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0143-005X
ISSN (Online):1470-2738
Published Online:19 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 76(2): 128-132
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3048231Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/1HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048231Relationships and healthKirstin MitchellMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/3HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
727631Social Relationships & Health ImprovementLisa McDaidChief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
727661Complexity in Health ImprovementLaurence MooreChief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU14HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
302716MRC Skills Development Fellowship ProgrammeJill PellMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/S015078/1S&PS - Administration
168560MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit