State Anxiety in People Living with Disability and Visual Impairment during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nikki Heinze, Claire L. Castle, Syeda F. Hussain, Lauren R. Godier-McBard, Theofilos Kempapidis, Renata S. M. Gomes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There has been growing recognition of the impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions implemented to contain the virus on mental health. This study provides a preliminary assessment of the longitudinal impact on state anxiety in individuals with disabilities and a subsample of individuals with visual impairment (VI). Two surveys were conducted in April−May 2020 (T1) and March 2021 (T2) to explore state anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). Participants who consented to being re-contacted were invited to take part in T2. A total of 160 participants completed T1 and T2. There were no significant group differences in median anxiety at T1; however, at T2 anxiety was significantly higher in those with disabilities and there was a trend towards being higher in participants with VI compared to those with no disabilities. While not statistically significant within any of the three subgroups, state anxiety decreased slightly in those with no disabilities. The absence of a disability affecting mobility, experiencing loneliness, and poorer sleep quality predicted state anxiety at both timepoints. While anxiety appeared to decrease in individuals with no disabilities, it remained comparatively stable, and higher in those with disabilities. Loneliness and poor sleep may need to be addressed to alleviate feelings of anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalDisabilities
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

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