Healthcare and Behavior Changes for Adults With Down Syndrome 1-Year Into COVID-19

Am J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2023 Jul 1;128(4):273-281. doi: 10.1352/1944-7558-128.4.273.


Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have been disproportionately harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and may have been more likely to have sacrificed opportunity and activity to avoid potential exposures. Our objective was to describe the experience one to one and half years into the COVID-19 pandemic for adults with DS, as reported by their caregivers in an online survey conducted between April 2021 and September of 2021. In our sample of 438 adults with DS, caregivers reported that adults with DS lost activities, struggled with employment, had negative behavioral changes, lost skills, and developed more mental health conditions. For adults with DS, one in five caregivers reported less healthcare usage, one in four reported delayed routine care, and 86.5% reported lost activities. As the pandemic continues, targeted support for adults with DS is needed to prevent further skill loss and mental health conditions.

Keywords: COVID-19; Down syndrome; employment; health care; health services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Down Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics