What long-term care interventions and policy measures have been studied during the Covid-19 pandemic? Findings from a rapid mapping review of the scientific evidence published during 2020

Presenter: William Byrd (Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, LSE, UK)

Abstract for the International workshop on COVID-19 and Long-Term Care systems: What have we learnt and what policies do we need to strengthen LTC systems?, 6 and 7th December 2021

Abstract:

Context – Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, long-term care researchers have aimed to generate evidence rapidly to inform the pandemic response. It is unclear which areas were prioritised during this period of rapid evidence generation.

Objectives – We aimed to map the international scientific evidence on interventions and policy measures to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on people who use and provide long-term care.

Methods – We conducted a pragmatic, rapid mapping review of international evidence to identify the range of interventions, policies, and measures in long-term care studied during the Covid-19 pandemic and published throughout 2020. Reports were primarily identified from two academic databases (MEDLINE; Web of Science). Findings – We included 137 studies from 22 countries, mostly focusing on the United States, Europe, and Canada. Half of the studies focused on preventing or controlling Covid-19 infections. Other common types of interventions were measures to treat Covid-19 or improve access to general healthcare, and studies of possible targets for policies and interventions, such as care home ownership. Only 13 studies covered home-based or community-based care.

Limitations – This was a pragmatic review that aimed to map key areas of research in long-term care during the pandemic, rather than a systematic review of all available studies.

Implications – During the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, a substantial body of evidence on interventions to mitigate impacts of the pandemic in the long-term care sector emerged. However, reflecting the context and speed with which they were carried out, most studies did not apply an analytical lens and instead provided descriptive findings only. There were very few studies on home-based or community-based care settings. As countries assess the lessons that can be learnt from the pandemic and improve the preparedness of their long-term care systems for future pandemics and other shocks, it will be important to consider the importance of facilitating rapid generation of more robust evidence.

Co-authors: William Byrd, Maximilian Salcher-Konrad, Siân Smith and Adelina Comas-Herrera (Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom)

To find out more about this work:

This paper has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Long-Term Care, the accepted version is available here.

This paper is part of the Social Care COVID Recovery and Resilience project.

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