Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


The experience of older people during the Covid-19 Pandemic

23 February 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

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The ELSA Covid-19 substudy reports the latest findings on the experiences of older people with multimorbidity during the pandemic.

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Floriana Bortolotti

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The ELSA Covid-19 substudy reports the latest findings on the experiences of older people with multimorbidity during the pandemic.

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) COVID19 substudy was established to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, during and after the lockdown, on the older population in England. It is an ad-hoc two-phases survey, based on a sample of over 7000 individuals from participants of the regular ELSA study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council via the UK Research and Innovation Covid-19 Rapid Response call. The first phase of the ELSA COVID19 substudy was conducted in June/July 2020 which sets a baseline for the second phase of the study took place during November/December 2020. In this talk we report some of the most important findings on the experiences of older people, in terms of COVID19, mental and physical health, access to health and social care, and changes in health behaviours (https://www.elsa-project.ac.uk/covid-19).

About the speakers:

Dr Paola Zaninotto is Associate Professor of Medical Statistics in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and a co-investigator of ELSA

Her research focuses on healthy life expectancy, work and retirement, trajectories of physical health and well-being at older ages. Her area of expertise lies in statistical methods for the analysis of longitudinal data, in particular structural equation models, multilevel models, survival models and methods for dealing with missing data. She also leads the Network for Applied Statisticians in Health (NASH) with Professors Bianca DeStavola and Irene Petersen.

She joined the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (https://www.elsa-project.ac.uk) team in 2006 and is now part of the ELSA management group. She is also a member of the Integrated Datasets in Europe for Ageing Research (IDEAR) network which brings together leading occupational cohort and ageing studies from five European countries to explore the impact of working conditions on health and well-being in later life (http://www.idear-net.net).

Dr Zaninotto leads the Regression Modelling module and is also contributes to teaching on the module Basic Statistics for MSc students. She also delivers short courses in statistics for PhD students across UCL and also supervises the projects of both MSc and PhD students.

Dr Zaninotto is the lead of the "Populations, people and data across the life course"  theme of the UCL Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/mrc-dtp/

Dr Giorgio Di Gessa is a Research Fellow in Epidemiology and Public Health, working with the ELSA team

Dr Giorgio Di Gessa completed his PhD in Demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. He has a long-standing interest in applying advanced quantitative methods to demographic issues and life course research. In particular, he is interested in the WHO’s notion of ‘Active Ageing’ as a strategy for health and well-being among older people.

Dr Di Gessa's research has focussed primarily on the impacts of social engagement (paid work, grand-parenting, volunteering) in mid and later life on physical and mental health and wellbeing. Much of his previous and ongoing programme of research involves cross-national comparisons of the complex relationships between ageing and health using longitudinal secondary data (mostly ELSA and SHARE) and advanced quantitative methodologies, including hierarchical modelling and methods for dealing with missing data.
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