The current study evaluated the relationship between social participation and quality of life (QoL) for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community-dwelling adults (N = 230) age 65 or older completed an online survey providing demographic data to identify changes in lifestyle routine during the pandemic using the COVID-19 Quality of Life (COV19-QoL) scores. Analyses revealed significant differences in reported lifestyle routines in relation to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and significant differences in COV19-QoL scores across various demographic groups. Results demonstrated the close relationship between social participation and QOL, assisted with identifying individuals at increased risk, and indicated potential guidelines for intervention. The sample was primarily limited to individuals willing to use the computer and several of the sample groups had limited representation with less than 5% of the total participant population. The use of novel instruments that relied on self-report also limited study conclusions. Future research is needed to improve interventions for social isolation and loneliness and affirm the value of an occupational therapy (OT) perspective in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


We have no known conflicts of interests to disclose.

This article served as a basis for an occupational therapy capstone project conducted in the spring of 2021. A special acknowledgement to Dr. Katie Bergman who assisted with statistical analysis, Dr. Laura Gerig and Dr. Courtney Sasse who provided useful manuscript comments.