Ageism against older adults in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: an integrative review




Aged, Ageism, Health of the elderly, Geriatrics, Coronavirus infections, Social discrimination, Prejudice, Stereotyping, Health policy, Review


OBJECTIVE: To report the main results of studies on prejudice, stereotyping, and age-based discrimination (ageism) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This is an integrative review of the literature on ageism in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, conducted between May and June 2020, with data collected from the following databases: Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE/ PubMed), Web of Science (Thompson Reuters), Scopus (Elsevier Science), Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe em Ciências da Saúde (Lilacs) and Scientific Eletronic Library Online (SciELO). RESULTS: Twenty-one publications addressing ageism during the pandemics, its origins, consequences, and ethical and political implications were analyzed. All publications were theoretical with a critical/reflexive approach, being 90,5% opinion articles (n = 19) and 9,5% research (n = 2). The main findings indicate criticisms regarding resources allocation and intensive care based exclusively on age. The results also highlight the impacts of social isolation, the use of technologies and social media, and intergenerational relationships within the COVID-19 scenario. CONCLUSION: According to most publications, although ageism has always been present, it became more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic as a form of discrimination against older adults. “Ageist” discourses may exert a negative influence in older adults’ lives, causing severe social and psychological impacts.


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How to Cite

Silva, M. F., Silva, D. S. M. da, Bacurau, A. G. de M. ., Francisco, P. M. S. B., Assumpção, D. de, Neri, A. . L., & Borim, F. S. A. (2021). Ageism against older adults in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: an integrative review. Revista De Saúde Pública, 55, 4.