Social Distancing and Isolation Strategies to Prevent and Control the Transmission of COVID-19 and Other Infectious Diseases in Care Homes for Older People: An International Review

Sarah Sims, Ruth Harris, Shereen Hussein, Anne Marie Rafferty, Amit Desai, Sinead Palmer, Sally Brearley, Richard Adams, Lindsay Rees, Joanne M. Fitzpatrick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
97 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Older people living in care homes are at high risk of poor health outcomes and mortality if they contract COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. Measures used to protect residents include social distancing and isolation, although implementation is challenging. This review aimed to assess the social distancing and isolation strategies used by care homes to prevent and control the transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Seven electronic databases were searched: Medline, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, HMIC, Social Care Online, and Web of Science Core Collection. Grey literature was searched using MedRxiv, PDQ-Evidence, NICE Evidence Search, LTCCovid19.org and TRIP. Extracted data were synthesised using narrative synthesis and tabulation. 103 papers were included (10 empirical studies, seven literature reviews, and 86 policy documents). Strategies used to prevent and control the transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases included social distancing and isolation of residents and staff, zoning and cohorting of residents, restriction of resident movement/activities, restriction of visitors and restriction of staff working patterns. This review demonstrates a lack of empirical evidence and the limited nature of policy documentation around social distancing and isolation measures in care homes. Evaluative research on these interventions is needed urgently, focusing on the well-being of all residents, particularly those with hearing, vision or cognitive impairments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3450
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number6
Early online date15 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Care homes
  • COVID-19
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Isolation
  • Older people
  • Social distancing

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