The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social isolation and loneliness – A Nordic research review
1 Feb 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic has in many ways challenged the health and well-being of people, and more widely, the welfare systems in the Nordic countries. Due to regulations and lockdowns, many people have experienced social isolation, and certain vulnerable groups – such as older adults and those with disabilities – have been hit especially hard. As loneliness has implications for people’s long-term mental and physical health, the consequences of the pandemic are significant for health and social care as a whole.
This literature review describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on loneliness and social isolation among younger and older adults living in the Nordic countries, with and without disabilities, and in different situations.
By means of a literature review of empirical studies on Nordic residents, this report answers the following questions:
- What was the impact of the pandemic in terms of loneliness and social isolation among various groups in the Nordic countries?
- Which groups were particularly susceptible to loneliness and social isolation during the COVID-19 measures?
- What were the (typical) mechanisms through which COVID-19 measures affected loneliness and social isolation in each group?
- Did the findings vary across the Nordic countries, and if so, how?
This literature review, The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social isolation and loneliness – A Nordic research review, is published together with the report Reducing social isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic – Examples of promising practice from the Nordic countries.
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