BMC Geriatr. 2022 Jun 23;22(1):516. doi: 10.1186/s12877-022-03072-w.
BACKGROUND: This study identifies correlates of the lockdown’s psychological distress in frail older community-dwellers (Catalonia, Spain).
METHODS: Participants from a community frailty intervention program, with a comprehensive geriatric assessment within the 12-months pre-lockdown and COVID-19 free during the first pandemic wave (March-May 2020), underwent a phone assessment past the lockdown to assess COVID-19-related emotional distress (DME) as well as other sociodemograhic, clinical and psychosocial factors.
RESULTS: Of the 94 frail older adults (age = 82,34 ± 6,12 years; 68,1% women; 38,3% living alone), 84,9% were at risk of experiencing moderate-to-high psychological distress, according to the backward stepwise logistic regression model obtained (χ2 = 47,007, p < 0,001, Nagelkerke R2 = 0,528), based on the following factors: absence of depressive symptoms before lockdown (OR = 0,12, p = 0,014, 95%CI[0,023-0,647]), not carrying out leisure activities during lockdown (OR = 0,257, p = 0,023, 95%CI[0,079-0,832]) and currently experiencing high malaise due to COVID-19 situation (OR = 1,504, p < 0,001, 95%CI[1,241-1,822]).
DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that it is necessary to favour a prior overall health status and to empower frail older community-dwellers in the use of a broad repertoire of coping strategies in the face of adversity to foster mental health and keep at bay the potential emotional impact of the situation generated by the COVID pandemic.