Researching the impact of COVID-19 on the circumstances and wellbeing of older people in Latvia and Iceland
Since mid 2022, the University of Iceland has been involved in a bilateral research partnership with Riga Stradiņš University in Latvia. The aim of the partnership is to strengthen research collaboration between the two countries, specifically looking into the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for older people. Halldór S. Guðmundsson, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Social Work, has been the University of Iceland contact for the project, which is managed by the UI Social Science Research Institute. Helgi Guðmundsson, project manager at the Institute, has been one of the key members of the team.
The project is about exploring and developing methods for analysing and comparing existing data from Latvia and Iceland in order to shed light on the impact of the pandemic on the health and wellbeing of older people. The main focus is on social isolation, loneliness and mental and physical wellbeing. Data was taken from the SHARE project in Latvia, while the Icelandic data came from the study 'The circumstances and wellbeing of older people'.
Work session at UI at the end of November 2022. From left: Signe Tomsone from RSU, Helgi Guðmundsson from the University of Iceland Social Science Research Institute, Andrejs Ivanovs from RSU, Ieva Reine from RSU and Halldór S. Guðmundsson from the University of Iceland Faculty of Social Work.
The team has met in Latvia to give public lectures and discuss data processing and findings. There was also a work session in Iceland towards the end of 2022 and a presentation and seminar at UI 13-15 August 2023. Some of the team's findings have already been published in two papers.
The project was funded by the EFTA/EEA Structural Fund, which has the aim of strengthening collaboration between Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and other Member States.
You can read more about the project on the Riga Stradiņš University website.
Links to publications about the project's findings
Mikelsone, M., Reine, I., Tomsone, S., Gudmundsson, H., Ivanovs, A. and Gudmundsson, H. S. (2023). Construction of healthy ageing index from two different datasets. Front. Public Health, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2023.1231779
Reine, I., Mikelsone, M., Gudmundsson, H., Ivanovs, A., Tomsone, S. and Gudmundsson, H. S. (2023). Loneliness, social isolation and ageing: A methodological approach to compare Latvian and Icelandic older populations in the course of Covid-19 pandemic. Res Sq. 10.21203/rs.3.rs-2870118/v1