Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted people with disabilities. Working-age adults with ADL difficulty may face unique challenges and heightened health risks because of the pandemic. It is critical to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on social, financial, physical, and mental wellbeing among people with disabilities to inform more inclusive pandemic response policies. Objective: This study compares perceived COVID-19 physical and mental health, social, and financial impacts for US working-age adults with and without ADL difficulty. Methods: We analyzed data from a national survey of US working-age adults (aged 18–64) conducted in February and March 2021 (N = 3697). We used logistic regression to compare perceived COVID-19-related impacts on physical and mental health, healthcare access, social relationships, and financial wellbeing among those with and without ADL difficulty. Results: Adults with ADL difficulty were more likely to report negative COVID-19 impacts for many but not all outcomes. Net of covariates, adults with ADL difficulty had significantly greater odds of reporting COVID-19 infection (OR = 2.1) and hospitalization (OR = 6.7), negative physical health impacts (OR = 2.0), and negative impacts on family relationships (OR = 1.6). However, they had significantly lower odds of losing a friend or family member to COVID-19 (OR = 0.7). There were no significant differences in perceived impacts on mental health, ability to see a doctor, relationships with friends, or financial wellbeing. Conclusions: Working-age adults with ADL difficulty experienced disproportionate health and social harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these disparities, public health response efforts and social policies supporting pandemic recovery must include disability perspectives.
- Activities of daily living
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health