It’s not over yet: study says COVID-19 pandemic depression persists in older adults – archyde

Loneliness was the main predictor of worsening depressive symptoms, with other pandemic-related stressors such as family conflicts increasing the likelihood. | Photo credit: iStock Images

Key highlights

  • The study was published in the journal Nature Aging.
  • Caregiving responsibilities, family separation, family conflicts, and loneliness were all associated with a higher likelihood of moderate or high level depressive symptoms, which worsened over time.
  • Overall, older adults were twice as likely to have depressive symptoms during the pandemic as they were before the pandemic.

Washington: The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the mental health of the elderly who live in the community, with those who are lonely faring far worse, according to a new study from McMaster University.

The study was published in the journal Nature Aging.

Using data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a national team of researchers found that 43 percent of adults aged 50 or older at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had moderate or severe symptoms of depression, and this increased. over time.

Loneliness was the main predictor of worsening depressive symptoms, with other pandemic-related stressors such as family conflicts increasing the likelihood.

The research was led by Parminder Raina, Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact and Scientific Director of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging.

“The COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionate impact on older adults, with groups of people already marginalized experiencing a far greater negative impact,” said Raina, lead study director for the CLSA.

“Those who were socially isolated, had poorer health, and had lower socioeconomic status were more likely to have worsening depression compared to their pre-pandemic depression status as recorded by the 2011 Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.”

The research team included CLSA lead researchers Christina Wolfson from McGill University, Susan Kirkland from Dalhousie University, Lauren Griffith from McMaster, and a national team of researchers.

They used phone and web survey data to examine how health-related factors and social determinants such as income and social participation affect the prevalence of depressive symptoms during the initial lockdown from March 2020 and after reopening after the first wave of COVID-19 in Canada.

Caregiving responsibilities, family separation, family conflicts, and loneliness were all associated with a higher likelihood of moderate or high level depressive symptoms, which worsened over time.

Women were also more likely than men to experience depressive symptoms during the pandemic, and a greater number of women reported separation from their families, extended periods of care, and obstacles to care.

Overall, older adults were twice as likely to have depressive symptoms during the pandemic as they were before the pandemic. But those on lower incomes and in poorer health, either due to pre-existing health conditions or health concerns reported during the pandemic, had bigger impacts.

“These results suggest that the negative mental health effects of the pandemic may persist and worsen over time, and underscore the need for tailored interventions to address pandemic stressors and their effects on the mental health of older adults alleviate, “added Raina.

The results represent the first published COVID-19 research to emerge from the CLSA, a national aging research platform that enrolls more than 50,000 middle and older community adults. The platform is funded by the Canadian government through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Additional funding for the CLSA-COVID-19 questionnaire study was provided by the Juravinski Research Institute, McMaster University, the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging, the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Health Research Coalition, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Reference-www.nach-welt.com

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