Self-reported wellbeing and health-related quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people pre and post the first wave of the COVID-19 2020 pandemic

Alana Gall, Abbey Diaz, Gail Garvey, Kate Anderson, Daniel Lindsay, Kirsten Howard

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Abstract

Objective: Quantify change in wellbeing and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults pre and post Australia's initial COVID-19 lockdown. 

Methods: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults completed an online survey at Time 1 (October–November 2019; before the initial Australian COVID-19 outbreak) and Time 2 (August–September 2020; after the first Australian lockdown). We assessed wellbeing using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and HRQoL using the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL-4D) instrument. Participants who completed both surveys (n=42) were included to quantify change in outcomes over time and by comorbidity and demographic factors. 

Results: Mean reduction in wellbeing over time was 6.4 points (95%CI −14.2 to 1.4) and was associated with age (18–54yo), financial instability and mental health comorbidity. Mean reduction in HRQoL over time was 0.06 (95%CI −0.12 to 0.01) and was associated with financial instability, high physical comorbidity level and mental health comorbidity. 

Conclusions: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 18–54yo, who were financially unstable or had elevated comorbidity during COVID lockdowns experienced greater reductions in wellbeing and HRQoL. 

Implications for public health: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Australia, both urgent and forward planning is needed, especially for the priority groups identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume46
Issue number2
Early online date23 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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