Psychological and social impacts of families of handicapped people during COVID-19 in the Arab world (A comparative study between Saudi Arabia and Egypt)

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Walid A. Elsayad, Bayan H. Aljohani


The study ​ aimed at revealing the psychological and social effects of the families of handicapped people during COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The triangulation approach was used that gives a deeper understanding of the results derived from quantitative and qualitative data, and a questionnaire prepared by researchers was applied to (142) families with intellectual disabilities, autism disorder, visual impairment, physical and health disabilities, and a semi-structured interview was used with ( 15) of these respondents to find out the most important psychological and social impacts of the families of handicapped people. The psychometric properties of the study tools were verified. The data were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. ​Quantitative results show that participants have an average level of psychosocial impacts for the families of handicapped people. Furthermore, there were no differences in the psychological and social effects in general between the Egyptian and Saudi societies, while it was found that there were differences in psychological pressure as one of the psychological effects between the two societies for Egyptian society​.  Quantitative statistics were supported by qualitative data​​. Also, the qualitative analysis revealed that there were four dimensions related to the psychological and social effects of the families of handicapped people. They are: the presence of psychological effects ranging from high to medium, the presence of moderate social effects, the presence of moderate economic effects, ​​the finding also indicated that the ranking of psychological effects ​​and social issues for different groups of disabilities depends on​ their families according​ to  (intellectual disability, autism disorder, physical and health disabilities, visual disabilities).​​The study provided several recommendations. The families of handicapped people especially mothers must be supported and provided with specific training programs that suit different disability groups.

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