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Social distancing is an effective strategy to limit contagion and mortality from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these measures may also decrease perceived social connectedness and conversely increase social isolation, states which are associated with psychologic and physiologic morbidity.1- 5 Patients who are elderly or have disabilities are particularly encouraged to practice social distancing given their higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection, but they also have a higher baseline risk for reporting social isolation.5,6 We hypothesized that the pandemic and social distancing measures have negatively affected perceptions of social connectedness among these high-risk patients.
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Accepted for Publication: April 10, 2021.
Published Online: May 28, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.2348
Corresponding Author: Wesley John Talcott, MD, MBA, Smilow Cancer Hospital, PO Box 208040, New Haven, CT 06520-8040 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Author Contributions: Dr Talcott had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Talcott, Gross, Park.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Talcott, Yu.
Drafting of the manuscript: Talcott.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Yu, Gross, Park.
Statistical analysis: Talcott.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Yu reported personal fees from Boston Scientific and Galera Pharmaceuticals outside the submitted work. Dr Gross reported grants from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (Pfizer/AstraZeneca), Johnson & Johnson, and Genentech, and travel/speaking fees from Flatiron outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
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