Exploring the untold story of COVID-19: Understanding the wider and future impacts of the pandemic and finding solutions to improve population health, resiliency, and preparedness

Ryan, Bridget L | $455,243

Ontario Western University 2022 CIHR Operating Grant

The overall goal of this project is to describe the direct (for people who had COVID-19) and indirect (for everyone whether they had COVID‑19 or not) impacts of the pandemic in southwestern Ontario for older adults with multimorbidity. We will pay special attention to social isolation. Southwestern Ontario has a population of approximately 1.6 million people and almost 50,000 COVID‑19 cases. This part of the province represents the diversity of Ontario, in its people, environment, economy and health. We will conduct three studies to address the objectives of the CIHR Operating Grant call: « Addressing the Wider Health Impact of COVID-19 ». Study 1 will use questionnaires, interviews, and electronic medical records to describe the impacts of the pandemic including social isolation. Study 2 will use questionnaire data and electronic medical record data from people in southwestern Ontario to identify how the pandemic has affected different groups of people, especially those at higher risk because of their social and economic situations. In Study 3, we will use what we learned in Studies 1 and 2 to design a way of delivering family physician care called the COVID‑19 Patient-Provider Exchange in Primary Care (COPE_PC) to help patients and their family physicians talk about the risk of social isolation on their health.

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