Psychological Distress Among Older Adults During the First Wave of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe
|Článek v odborném periodiku
|Časopis / Zdroj
|International Journal of Public Health
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|mental health; older adults; COVID-19; psychological distress; SHARE
|Objective: To investigate the individual and country-level characteristics associated with the presence and worsening of psychological distress during the first wave of the pandemic among the elderly in Europe. Methods: In June-August 2020, 52,310 non-institutionalized people aged 50+ in 27 SHARE participating countries reported whether feeling depressed, anxious, lonely, and having sleep problems. For this analysis, we combined these symptoms into a count variable reflecting psychological distress. Binary measures of the worsening of each symptom were used as secondary outcomes. Multilevel zero-inflated negative binomial and binary logistic regressions were used to assess the associations. Results: Female sex, low education, multimorbidity, fewer social contacts, and higher stringency of policy measures were associated with increased distress. The worsening of all 4 distress symptoms was associated with younger age, poor health, loss of work due to the pandemic, low social contact, and high national mortality rates from COVID-19. Conclusion: The pandemic exacerbated distress symptoms for socially disadvantaged older adults and those who were already struggling with mental health. The death toll of COVID-19 in a country played a role in symptom worsening.