Published: 2020-12-14 17:19 | Updated: 2020-12-16 16:49

Funding from Formas/Forte Funding for research on the changes in the living conditions of older people during the pandemic

Carin Lennartsson has been granted funding to collect data and research materials linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is entitled “The Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old – SWEOLD COVID-19”.

Studio portrait of Carin Lennartsson.

Congratulations Carin Lennartsson, researcher at the Aging Research Center (ARC) at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society. Could you tell us about your research project?

"This project provides a unique opportunity to study changes in several aspects of living conditions, such as physical and mental health, health related behaviours and social relations."

"We will use the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old – SWEOLD to carry out a telephone-based interview study related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be asked, as well as questions regularly included in the study. An analysis of how older adults have perceived and adhered to the flow of information and specific recommendations will also be conducted."

The study is longitudinal and nationally representative of the population aged 76 and above. With a sample covering all parts of Sweden, including both those living at home and those living in care homes, as well as different socioeconomic groups, particularly vulnerable groups  can be identified.

Results from the SWEOLD COVID-19 generate knowledge that is scientifically relevant, informative for social policy and generalisable to the older population, thus useful for future pandemics and crises – not least from an inequality perspective.

Who is taking part in the study?

"Our multidisciplinary team based at ARC, a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, is experienced with fieldwork and methodological issues which are unique to studies on people over the age of 75. Our research expertise lies in the areas of social conditions and health of older adults."

The group consists of researchers from different disciplines, such as sociology, gerontology, social work, political science, public health and demography.

Which patient groups will benefit from the research and how?

"Our project will be of benefit for all people, and in particular the older segment of the population, both current generations and future. It is of particular societal relevance as it focuses on the interaction between social policy and behaviours within one of the most vulnerable groups in a society, i.e. older adults."

"By using a nationally representative sample, including both those living at home and those living in care homes, as well as different socioeconomic groups, we can make comparisons between groups with significantly different resources and capabilities – an analysis of high societal interest."

"The findings from this study will be used for research and serve as a knowledge-based platform for discussions with politicians and policymakers."

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