Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Ryan, Bridget L.

2nd Supervisor

Terry, Amanda L.



Introduction. Social restrictions preventing the spread of COVID-19 possibly increased social isolation and loneliness. The validity and reliability of a questionnaire assessing the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on social isolation and loneliness in community dwelling older adults with multimorbidity was investigated.

Methods. A conceptual framework was developed to guide questionnaire construction. Participants were recruited through professional networks, comprising a convenience sample. Feedback interviews assessed usability and face validity. Content validity was assessed using a Content Validity Matrix, and construct validity through tests of association. Reliability of validated scales was assessed using Cronbach’s ⍺. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were computed.

Results. This questionnaire was found to have strong content validity and validated scale reliability in this population and setting. Construct validity could not be fully ascertained.

Conclusions. The current thesis found the questionnaire to be valid and reliable in this setting and population.

Summary for Lay Audience

This study was a pilot study, in preparation for a larger Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded study, called “Exploring the Untold Story of COVID-19: Understanding the Wider and Future Impacts of the Pandemic and Finding Solutions to Improve Population Health, Resiliency, and Preparedness” (hereafter referred to as the Untold Story of COVID-19). The Untold Story of COVID-19 is investigating the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on people aged 50 years and older with multiple chronic diseases in terms of their feelings of social isolation and loneliness as we emerge from the pandemic. The current thesis project was the pilot study portion of The Untold Story of COVID-19 and was conducted to test the methodology of the larger study. This thesis project involved constructing the questionnaire and testing its feasibility, validity and reliability. This study informs the questionnaire for The Untold Story of COVID-19, in terms of clarity of questions and ease of understanding of them. It is important to do this trial run of the larger study to be sure that the most accurate information is gathered to meet the larger study objectives. This study found that the questionnaire was well made, and participants found it easy to complete and illustrated that the Untold Story of COVID-19 project can progress forward.

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Epidemiology Commons