Meili KW, Jonsson H, Lindholm L, Månsdotter A
Scand J Public Health - (-) 14034948211023633 [2021-07-02; online 2021-07-02]
Measures against COVID-19 potentially impact quality of life in different ways. The capability approach by Amartya Sen with a broad and consistent framework for measuring quality of life is suited to capture the various consequences. We aimed to examine (a) whether individuals experienced change in 10 capability dimensions during the first half of 2020, (b) which dimensions were affected most, and (c) whether changes were unequally distributed in terms of gender, education, income, geography, housing, living situation and place of birth. We assessed self-reported capability change in Sweden in 10 capability dimensions in a cross-sectional online survey among 500 participants on a five-item Likert scale. We analysed the distribution of answers by comparing the balance of positive and negative perceived changes and used mixed effects logistic regression to examine associations with background characteristics of the participants. Reported perceived negative changes outweighed positive changes, and a higher proportion stated negative perceived changes if they also stated having low capability in the same dimension. In the capabilities of financial situation, political resources and health, the proportions of perceived negative change were highest. Odds for perceived negative change compared to no or positive change were higher for higher incomes, living in medium-sized municipalities, being born outside Europe, living in the south of Sweden, and renting instead of owning housing. Self-reported negative capability change, and associated inequalities related to socioeconomic position, place of birth and regional residence should be of concern for policymakers.