Living with cystic fibrosis during the COVID-19 pandemic: a social connectedness perspective

Maggie Harrigan, Kellie Bennett, Siobhain Mulrennan, Melanie Jessup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose This study explores the concept of social connectedness for adults with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), generally and during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to help inform contemporary CF healthcare. Social connectedness is an essential component of belonging and refers to an individual’s sense of closeness with the social world. Unique disease factors make exploration of social connectedness pertinent, added to by COVID-19, with the CF population potentially facing increased risk for severe illness.
Methods: Seventeen adults with CF in Western Australia undertook interviews, with findings categorized as overarching themes.
Results: In a general sense, participants described social connectedness challenges caused by CF, despite which they reported meaningful connections that benefits their mental and physical health. Within a COVID-19 specific context, participants demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity, highlighted the importance of empathy in relation to the pandemic, and described how social support is both an outcome and enhancer of social connectedness.
Conclusions: This study contributes to limited social connectedness literature within CF and chronic illness in general, highlighting the importance of social connectedness awareness raising, assessments and interventions in CF healthcare inside and outside the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2062820
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2022


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