People with Disabilities and Other Forms of Vulnerability to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Study Protocol for a Scoping Review and Thematic Analysis.

Refugee Empowerment Task Force, International Networking Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, TS Jesus*, S Kamalakannan, S Bhattacharjya, Y Bogdanova, JC Arango-Lasprilla, J Bentley, BE Gibson, C Papadimitriou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


To develop a protocol for a scoping review mapping as well as thematically analyzing the literature on the effect of, and responses to, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, focused on people with disabilities with other layers of individual vulnerability or social disadvantage.

We will search scientific databases (Medline/PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, AgeLine, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC) and preprint servers (MedRxiv, SocArXiv, PsyArXiv). Google searches, snowballing, and key-informant strategies were also used, including a focus on the gray literature (eg, official reports). Peer-reviewed and preprint publications will be covered in 6 languages, and the gray literature in English. Publications will be included if they address individuals with disabilities; the COVID-19 pandemic or subsequent socioeconomic or occupational effects; and individual or social vulnerabilities, including any form of discrimination, marginalization, or social disadvantage. Two independent reviewers will perform eligibility decisions and key data extractions. Beyond mapping the literature, the results will thematically analyze any disproportionate risks people with disabilities and other forms of vulnerability experience in terms of being infected by COVID-19, having severe health consequences, and facing negative socioeconomic effects. Actions taken or recommended to reduce identified inequalities will also be synthesized. Our entire research team, with diverse backgrounds, will be involved in the synthesis.

This review, which we plan to expedite, aims to inform policy makers, health authorities, disability advocates, and other stakeholders regarding the needs and ways to promote equity and disability-inclusive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant socioeconomic shockwaves.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100079
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation
Issue number4
Early online date20 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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