According to Professor Di Fang of the University of Arkansas, the psychological effects of food insecurity can be detrimental. People who are food insecure have a 257% higher risk of anxiety and a 253% higher risk of depression, via BMC Public Health. Along with this, the University of Texas study also concluded that lack of access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated lower mental wellbeing due to social disconnection during the period. exceptionally prolonged isolation from the pandemic.
Another study led by Rachel F. McCloud of the Center for Community-Based Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston found similar results. The research team monitored the online activities and technological effectiveness of a sample of users from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (via the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association). Like the University of Texas study, McCloud’s study found that the impacts of lack of technology also extend to poorer urban communities. Due to internet connectivity issues and a lower average technology literacy, people trying to access healthcare information via the internet have been at a significant disadvantage compared to their tech-savvy peers with access to a better quality equipment with fewer problems and subsequent setbacks.
The study concluded that “communication inequalities worsen health disparities” because different communities have access to crucial resources and other communities do not. During the pandemic, in the United States, socioeconomic demographics determined the quality of health care available to a person.