The objective of this study was to critically synthesise evidence in relation to the holistic care impacts (physical, psychological, social, spiritual and environmental well-being) among individuals living in residential aged-care facilities (RACFs) with restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. An integrative systematic review followed a pre-registered protocol and has been reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) Guidelines. Electronic databases were searched from inception to June 2022. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies were included. All articles were double-screened according to a pre-determined eligibility criterion. The review process was managed using Covidence systematic review software. Data from the studies were extracted, methodological quality appraisal conducted and a narrative synthesis conducted. 18 studies were included. The impact of restrictive practices and periods of lockdown impacted older people on all levels of individual quality-of-life. With or without COVID-19, residents experienced functional decline and many experienced malnutrition, increased incontinence, increased pain, and poorer general health and significant psychological distress. Depression increased with reduced social contact, as did anxiety and loneliness. Some residents spoke of suicidal ideation. It is highly plausible that further outbreaks may prompt knee-jerk reactions from public health departments and governing bodies to continue to restrict and lockdown facilities. Public health COVID-19 outbreak policy for aged care across the globe will need to consider the benefits verses risk debate, given the findings uncovered in this review. These findings showed that it is vital that policy considers quality-of-life domains - not solely survival rates.

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Jackson, N., Turner, M. & Paterson, C. 2023, 'What are the holistic care impacts among individuals living through the COVID-19 pandemic in residential or community care settings? An integrative systematic review.', International Journal of Older People Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/opn.12557

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Last updated: 05 July 2023
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