Social isolation, a key social determinant of health (SDOH) can have a negative effect on mental and physical health outcomes. Individuals in long-term care (LTC) facilities have higher 30-day mortality rates when the facility is in a socially isolated location, according to a study from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, social isolation has impacted individual mental health and wellbeing and has emerged as a social determinant of health. In March 2020, under CMS orders, long-term care facilities banned nonessential visitors and group activities in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Following the ban, residents experienced higher rates of depression and anxiety, as well as worsening dementia in some, the researchers noted. The JAMA study focused on the impact that social isolation had on LTC residents and found a correlation between social isolation and increased mortality rates.