The impact of COVID-19 Fear: evidence to inform social, health and economic recovery - a Healthy Ageing In Scotland (HAGIS) study
Funded by UK Research and Innovation.
Collaboration with Generations Working Together, Scottish Government - Office of Chief Economic Advisor, Scottish Government - Social Security Scotland, Tec Enabled Care in Scotland and University of Edinburgh.
HAGIS: The COVID-19 Impact and Recovery Study
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted everyone in some way. The HAGIS: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery study is exploring how concerns linked to COVID-19 have impacted the way people aged 50+ live in Scotland. Specifically, our study explores how the spectrum of COVID-19 concern manifests in older people, and how it impacts on their social, health and economic behaviours.
We anticipate COVID-19 fear to affect individuals, intergenerational relationships, and society in myriad ways including:
(1) social isolation due to reservations around meeting others or engaging in pre-COVID activities;
(2) poorer health and well-being due to i) reluctance to engage with medical professionals for fear of contracting COVID-19, or ii) over-zealous self-referral due to high health anxiety;
(3) weakened economic recovery due to changing consumption and work patterns;
(4) greater income and health inequality due to differential impacts by level of deprivation and by place.
Our study will close knowledge gaps relating to these potential consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This mixed-methods study will address these using our validated COVID-19 fear survey instrument, a large-scale survey, interviews with older people and professionals working in the social care, healthcare and third sector. This approach enables decomposition of responses to COVID-19 fear by socio-economic disadvantage and by place, helping satisfy an urgent need to understand the pandemic’s effects on inequality, intergenerational connections and on economic geography.