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Authors

  1. Federman, Alex D. MD, MPH
  2. Leff, Bruce MD
  3. Brody, Abraham A. PhD, RN
  4. Lubetsky, Sara MPH
  5. Siu, Albert L. MD, MSPH
  6. Ritchie, Christine S. MD
  7. Ornstein, Katherine A. MPH, PhD

Abstract

Homebound older adults are a highly vulnerable population, yet little is known about their experiences with healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. We interviewed patients in home-based primary care (HBPC) in New York City by telephone in May and June of 2020. Interviews covered social supports, household activities, self-care, and medical care, and asked participants to compare current with prepandemic experiences. Among 70 participants, 37% were Black and 32% were Hispanic. Disruptions in the home included greater difficulty accessing paid caregivers (13.9%) and food (35.3%) than before the pandemic, and unaddressed household chores (laundry, 81.4%; food preparation, 11.4%). Black study participants were more likely than White and Hispanic participants to report disruptions in accessing medical care (13 [50.0%] vs. 3 [14.3%] vs. 6 [27.3%], respectively, p = 0.02), as well as food preparation and medication taking. Black patients in HBPC are at risk of disparities in healthcare and social support during the COVID-19 pandemic.