The effects of Covid-19 lockdown on health and psychosocial functioning in older adults aged 70 and over

Sarah Docherty*, Crystal Haskell, Lynn McInnes, Mark Wetherell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a state-imposed lockdown in the UK; there are many psychosocial consequences of pandemics, with older adults potentially at an increased risk. The current study assessed psychosocial functioning in a sample of older adults in the UK with baseline data collected pre-lockdown and follow-up 12 weeks later during lockdown. Thus, allowing investigation of the effect of COVID-19 and associated lockdown on psychosocial well-being. Thirty-five older adults (Mean age = 76.06, sex = 12 males) participated in this repeated measures study. A final follow-up was then conducted post-lockdown to capture any factors that were viewed as helpful to well-being during lockdown. From pre- to during lockdown, perceived stress, well-being, depressive symptoms, mood disturbance and memory were all significantly worsened. There were significant improvements in self-reported physical health symptoms, social interaction, time spent engaging in physical activity and certain aspects of relationship quality. Follow-up showed that well-being, depression and mood were still negatively affected post-lockdown. Given the sample were all ‘healthy’ at baseline in comparison to established norms, there may be greater impairment in more vulnerable populations. Support for older populations is needed to mitigate the negative effects shown, particularly in light of the endurance of some of these effects post-lockdown.

Original languageEnglish
Article number233372142110399
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Volume7
Early online date6 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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