Impacts on social connections and wellbeing of COVID-19 policies in the Older Population: CFAS cohort Over 75s (OPPO)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Public Health and Primary Care

Abstract

The recent introduction of social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak will have had a profound impact on older people's physical and mental health. At the same time there has been a fundamental shift in the use of online communication, both for informal contact with family members and online health consultations as well as for the functions of everyday life.

The Cognitive Function and Ageing Study II (CFAS II) is a population representative longitudinal study examining the health, wellbeing, cognition, social networks and health and social care usage of older people in three diverse geographies of England including rural areas and those with high social deprivation. CFAS II began in 2009 but has recently completed (2018-2019) a 10-year follow-up interview with a sample of participants. During this follow up interview, measures of interest to this project, such as wellbeing, social networks, online communication and access to services were gathered.

The research team are currently undertaking a new wave of interviews that will enable direct assessment of the mental health impact that social distancing measures have had on this vulnerable group along with any changes to communications and social networks that have occurred.

The aim of this project is to analyse these effects, and to undertake a further follow-up interview to investigate the longer term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on this group of people; utilising extensive data collected from previous waves of the study.

Aims:
1) To estimate the immediate and persistent impacts on mental health, wellbeing, general health of the COVID-19 pandemic;

2) To estimate social care usage and support received from others (family/neighbours etc.) and how this has changed over the course of the pandemic.

3) To examine changes in mobile, smartphone and social network usage by comparing data from previous waves, exploring to what extent there has been new usage as a result of the crisis and if this has persisted.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Patterns of loneliness and other social connectedness will be reported across the pandemic and before, in addition to capturing how older people have used the internet across time.
Exploitation Route CFAS has clear data access processes for researchers, and CFAS data have been uploaded to ESRC Archive as well as earlier data on DPUK
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare

 
Description Participation in a National Consultation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Developing a sustainable platform to understand the primary care, public health and social care needs for dementia, with a focus on underserved populations 
Organisation London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Department LSE Health and Social Care
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading and providing expertise
Collaborator Contribution Bringing essential multidisciplinary expertise and local engagement
Impact Collaboration is still at an early stage so none at present
Start Year 2022
 
Description Developing a sustainable platform to understand the primary care, public health and social care needs for dementia, with a focus on underserved populations 
Organisation Newcastle University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading and providing expertise
Collaborator Contribution Bringing essential multidisciplinary expertise and local engagement
Impact Collaboration is still at an early stage so none at present
Start Year 2022
 
Description Developing a sustainable platform to understand the primary care, public health and social care needs for dementia, with a focus on underserved populations 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading and providing expertise
Collaborator Contribution Bringing essential multidisciplinary expertise and local engagement
Impact Collaboration is still at an early stage so none at present
Start Year 2022
 
Description Developing a sustainable platform to understand the primary care, public health and social care needs for dementia, with a focus on underserved populations 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading and providing expertise
Collaborator Contribution Bringing essential multidisciplinary expertise and local engagement
Impact Collaboration is still at an early stage so none at present
Start Year 2022
 
Description Developing a sustainable platform to understand the primary care, public health and social care needs for dementia, with a focus on underserved populations 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading and providing expertise
Collaborator Contribution Bringing essential multidisciplinary expertise and local engagement
Impact Collaboration is still at an early stage so none at present
Start Year 2022
 
Description Developing a sustainable platform to understand the primary care, public health and social care needs for dementia, with a focus on underserved populations 
Organisation University of Plymouth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Leading and providing expertise
Collaborator Contribution Bringing essential multidisciplinary expertise and local engagement
Impact Collaboration is still at an early stage so none at present
Start Year 2022
 
Title Prevention of Dementia using Mobile phone Applications (PRODEMOS) 
Description Mobile phone app with coach control for people at greater risk of dementia living in areas of increased disadvantage. 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Psychological/Behavioural
Year Development Stage Completed 2020
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Clinical Trial? Yes
Impact Too early 
 
Description Formal Working Grous 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Membership and, in some cases, leadership of these groups aims to bring experts together along with societal representation to improve policy making related to public health, ageing and inequalities in populations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description International Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I have given a large number of international talks based on the research I have led during my career and this is based on the empirical findings from studies supported by the grants noted. These are aimed at diverse and mixed audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Local Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact These are talks to localities including local research teams, sharing research findings and evidence that we have generated from the noted grants across many decades.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Member of the National Council on Bioethics, Ageing Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact These are dedicated meetings to influence policy and practice through evidence that exists or can be generated, to improve population health and reduce inequalities. These are government meetings, expert advisory groups (that led to the development of Inequalities in Health Alliance in the case of the RCP committee).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description National Talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact These are the range of talks I have given at the national level and they take my learning and experience as a researcher in the field of public health as well as service into account.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022