An Analysis of the Mental Health Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Vulernable Populations in Jamaica Restricted; Files Only

Miller, Shenae (Summer 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/tt44pp07z?locale=en
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Abstract

Pandemics can have a traumatic effect on human mental health, and an increase in stigma, anxiety, fear and violent acts are some of the psychosocial consequences of health emergencies (Chatterjee et al., 2020). This paper proposes that there are varied factors related to mental health impacts and social vulnerabilities caused by health emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic has gravely affected physically disabled people, mentally ill people, and aging populations. In Jamaica, there is limited documentation of the experiences and coping strategies among people in vulnerable groups who are disproportionately affected by health emergencies. Anxiety and depression amongst vulnerable populations increase, especially during pandemics, and the rate of these issues is further affected by their socioeconomic status (Xiong et al., 2020).  

According to the WHO, as at June 19, there have been 49,607 cases of COVID-19, with 1031 deaths and 28,465 recoveries in Jamaica (WHO, 2020). There is limited research on the mental health impacts on vulnerable groups during epidemics. Evidence gathered from primarily global literature sources during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that older persons, those with underlying mental health conditions, and persons with disabilities were at higher risk of infection due to limited mobility, difficulty understanding information, or practicing preventive measures (Cullen et al., 2020). Vulnerable populations are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, and they have more severe and more insufficient health consequences from COVID-19. (James, 2020).  

To further understand mental health issues and coping strategies, we will analyze the available literature on the mental health impacts faced by three distinct vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to explore the lived experiences and coping mechanisms of vulnerable groups in Jamaica during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The research questions include:    

1. What are the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable populations?   

2. How do people in vulnerable groups manage depressive symptoms, anxiety, worry, and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic?   

3. How do support groups for people in vulnerable populations help prevent negative mental health impacts associated with the pandemic?

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 3 

CHAPTER 1.2 PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES 4 

CHAPTER 1.3 AGE AND DISABILITY 6 

CHAPTER 1.4 IMPACT ON THEIR PHYSICAL HEALTH 7 

CHAPTER 1.5 IMPACT AND COPING WITH MENTAL HEALTH 7 

CHAPTER 1.6 PEOPLE WITH UNDERLYING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES 7 

CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY 8 

CHAPTER 2.1 STUDY DESIGN AND SAMPLE SELECTION 8 

CHAPTER 2. 2 TARGET POPULATION 8 

CHAPTER 2.3 AVAILABLE POPULATION 8 

CHAPTER 2.4 THE INCLUSION CRITERIA 9 

CHAPTER 2.5 EXCLUSION CRITERIA 9 

. 9 

CHAPTER 2.6 DATA COLLECTION 9 

CHAPTER 2.7 DATA MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS 9 

CHAPTER 2.8 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS 10 

CHAPTER 2.9 DATA ANALYSIS SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS 10 

CHAPTER 2.10 ANALYSIS AND RESULTS 10 

CHAPTER 2.11 EMOTIONAL RESPONSE 11 

CHAPTER 2.12 SUPPORT MECHANISMS AND INTERVENTIONS 13 

CHAPTER 2.13 NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT 14 

CHAPTER 2.14 COPING STRATEGIES 15 

CHAPTER 2.15 COMMUNICATION 16 

CHAPTER 2.16 ANALYSIS OF INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS 17 

CHAPTER 2.17 COVID19 IMPACTS ON MENTAL HEALTH OF VULNERABLE PEOPLE 17 

CHAPTER 2.17.1 Figure 1: Perception of Risk of Contracting COVID-19 17 

CHAPTER 2.17.2 Figure 2: Reasons for Being on Risk of COVID-19 18 

CHAPTER 2.17.3 Figure 3: Impact on Mental Health of Vulnerable People 19 

CHAPTER 2.17.4 Figure 4: Ways to Manage Depressive Symptoms 20 

CHAPTER 2.17.5 Figure 5: Challenges to Support Groups 21 

CHAPTER 2.17.6 Figure 6: Support Group Assistance to Vulnerable People 22 

CHAPTER 2.17.7 Figure 7: Challenges to Vulnerable People Reached out by Support Groups 23 

CHAPTER 2.17.8 Figure 8: Lessons Learned by Support Groups 23 

CHAPTER 2.17.9 Figure 9: Source of COVID-19 Related Information for Vulnerable People 24 

CHAPTER 2.17.10 Figure 10: Credible or Influencing Source of COVID-19 Related Information for Vulnerable People 25 

CHAPTER 2.17.11 Figure 11: Frequency of COVID-19 Related Information 25 

CHAPTER 2.17.12 Figure 12: Adequacy of COVID-19 Related Information 26 

CHAPTER 2.17.13 Figure 13: Attempts to Address Special Needs of Vulnerable Groups 26 

CHAPTER 2.17.14 Figure 14: Impact of COVID-19 on Vulnerable People 27 

CHAPTER 2.17.15 Figure 15: Behavioral Changes with COVID-19 Transmissions 28 

CHAPTER 2.17.16 Figure 16: Triggers of Change 28 

CHAPTER 2.17.17 Figure 17: Adopting Self-efficacy and Preventive Measures 29 

CHAPTER 2.17.18 Figure 18: Most Effective Ways to Cope with COVID-19 29 

CHAPTER 2.17.19 Figure 19: Easiest COVID-19 Preventive Measure 30 

CHAPTER 2.17.20 Figure 20: Hardest COVID-19 Preventive Measure 30 

CHAPTER 2.17.21 Figure 21: Barriers to Change Behavior to Respond COVID-19 31 

CHAPTER 3 DISCUSSION 31 

CHAPTER 3.1 IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH 31 

CHAPTER 3.2 MENTAL HEALTH IMPACT OF SPECIAL POPULATIONS 31 

CHAPTER 3.3 MENTAL HEALTH IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON VULNERABLE POPULATION 32 

CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 33 

REFERENCES 34 

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