The Italian Longitudinal Study on Older People’s Quality of Life during the Covid-19 pandemic (ILQA-19) is a qualitative study investigating  the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on older people’s well-being and everyday life


It is conducted on a purposive sample of 40 older men and women aged between 65 and 80 living in the ten villages (i.e. Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo e San Fiorano), located in the Northern part of Italy, that experienced the first lockdown in Europe.


All data collection phases, i.e., recruitment, interviewing, and gaining informed consent, are performed remotely, adopting innovative protocols (Garavaglia et al. 2023, Melis et al. 2021a, Melis et al. 2021b, Melis et al. 2022). The first wave of the data collection was conducted during the first lockdown, using semi-structured video-interviews (e.g., WhatsApp). To date, we conducted three waves of data collection: wave 1 started in spring 2020, wave 2 in spring 2021, wave 3 in autumn 2022. Wave 4 and 5 will be carried out in autumn 2023 and 2024.


The interview guide has a core of questions that is repeated during each wave, on everyday life, social relationships and ICT use, with an ad hoc thematic module of questions that changes each year: the theme for wave 2 was the role of older people within society, while wave 3 studied the digitalisation of welfare, with a specific focus on SPID (Public Digital Identity System). Wave 4 thematic ad hoc module will address the main theme of social participation.  


In the attempt to involve the broader academic community and adopt an open approach to social science, we propose external contributors to participate in the research design for the ad hoc modules, participating in the yearly “Call for Contributors” and encourage academics to perform secondary analysis of the ILQA-19 transcripts, that are available free of charge from Unidata. The Bicocca Data Archive  


ILQA-19 was funded by Fondazione Cariplo (wave 1-4) and the Italian Ministry for Education (wave 5). The study was initially conceptualised and designed by Giulia Melis, Emanuela Sala and Daniele Zaccaria. In 2020 and 2023, Simone Carlo, Sara Nanetti and Francesco Diodati joined the ILQA-19 team. 


Emma Garavaglia, Alessandro Caliandro, Giulia Melis, Emanuela Sala, & Daniele Zaccaria (2023): “Contrasting Ageism in Research on Older Adults and Digital Technologies: a Methodological Reflection”, in Andrea Rosales, Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, Jakob Svensson (Eds), Digital Ageism. How it Operates and Approaches to Tackling it, London: Routledge, ISBN 9781032271538 (available online – open access) 

Giulia Melis, Emanuela Sala & Daniele Zaccaria (2022): “The Role of Information and Communication Technologies in Researching Older People during the Covid-19 Pandemic – The Case of the Italian Longitudinal Study on Older People’s Quality of Life during the Covid-19 Pandemic (ILQA-19)”. Proceedings: Volume 29, Springer LNCS 13330 “Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population: Design, Interaction and Technology Acceptance (Part I)”, edited by Qin Gao and Jia Zhou 

Giulia Melis, Emanuela Sala & Daniele Zaccaria (2021b): “Remote recruiting and video-interviewing older people: a research note on a qualitative case study carried out in the first Covid-19 Red Zone in Europe”, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2021.1913921 

Giulia Melis, Emanuela Sala & Daniele Zaccaria (2021a): “«I turned to Facebook to know when they would open the cemetery»… Results from a qualitative case study on older people’s social media use during COVID-19 lockdown in Italy”, RASSEGNA ITALIANA DI SOCIOLOGIA, LXII(2), 431-457, DOI: 10.1423/101851