ORIGINAL PAPER
The effect of the spread of the new COVID-19 on the psychological and social adaptation of families of persons with disabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
 
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King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
Submission date: 2020-06-05
Final revision date: 2020-08-24
Acceptance date: 2020-08-25
Online publication date: 2020-09-18
Publication date: 2020-09-18
 
Health Psychology Report 2021;9(3):264–275
 
KEYWORDS
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ABSTRACT
Background:
Helping families of persons with disabilities in times of the spread of COVID-19 is a major step to ensure their social and psychological adaptation. This call comes from the fact that from a health perspective, persons with disabilities have less immunity and are more vulnerable to deceases and infections. Many families of persons with disabilities have also expressed their concerns regarding the safety of their disabled member/s. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the impact of the new COVID-19 on the psychological and social adjustment of fam-ilies of persons with disabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Participants and procedure:
The sample of the study was chosen randomly from the Asir region. The sample consisted of any member of the families of persons with disabilities (parents and siblings). Participants responded to a questionnaire, which was sent electronically via WhatsApp to the families of persons with disabilities. The questionnaire gathered demographic information about the disabled member from the family (age and level of disability). The ques-tionnaire underwent statistical treatment to extract data for analysis.

Results:
The results showed less ability for families of persons with disabilities to adapt psychologically and socially to the spread of COVID-19. The findings revealed the existence of fundamental differences in the levels of psy-chological and social adaptation among these families due to the level of disability of their member and due to the variable of age, and in favor of the age group of 11-15 years. The study recommended providing safe methods of communication with families of persons with disabilities to reduce the feeling of psychological iso-lation and loneliness as much as possible during the quarantine or curfew periods.

Conclusions:
This study explored the levels of psychological and social adaptation of families of persons with disabilities in the time of COVID-19. The spread of the virus created a crisis in different counties and millions of people were infected. Persons with disabilities are among the categories affected most by the infection of the virus due to their weak immunity and their health problems. Therefore, response plans need to take measures that cover the needs of persons with disabilities and their families.

 
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