The impact of the health crisis and the first lockdown linked to the Covid-19 pandemic in France has been objectified by representative surveys in the general population that have highlighted an increased risk of onset of psychological distress amongst persons living with a chronic disorder or disability. However, the data collected from these surveys do not provide a precise idea of the situation of these specific populations, due to their low numbers amongst the respondents. To make up for this lack of information and gain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved, we resorted to an Internet survey diffused via a social network of persons living with a chronic disorder and associations of persons living with disability.
Despite vulnerability factors which were also identified in the general population, the onset of psychological distress during the first lockdown amongst these individuals also seems to be linked with issues related to their specific situations: difficulties in applying protective health measures, belief that they would not be treated on an equal footing with other people in the event of an infection by Covid-19, and the cessation or lessening of their usual medical or health and social care follow-up during the lockdown. Hence, our results underline the importance of taking into account the specific needs of persons living with a chronic disorder or disability in the context of the repeated implementation of lockdown policies, given that the impact of most of the vulnerability factors identified appear to be modifiable by tailor-made policies.
See also Questions d'économie de la santé n° 255 in French: Détresse psychologique pendant le premier confinement lié à la Covid-19 : des facteurs de vulnérabilité spécifiques aux personnes vivant avec une maladie chronique ou un handicap.