A national survey on COVID-19 second-wave lockdowns on older adults' mental wellbeing, health-seeking behaviours and social outcomes across Australia

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Abstract

Background: The impact of severe second lockdown measures on older adults' wellbeing is unknown. We aimed to (i) identify the impact of the second lockdown that resulted from the second wave of COVID-19 cases on older Australians' quality of life; (ii) compare the impact of second wave lockdowns in Victoria, Australia's second most populous State, to those in other States and Territories not in lockdown.

Methods: A national cross-sectional study of community-dwelling older adults completed online questionnaires for quality of life, social networks, healthcare access, and perceived impact of COVID-19 between July to September 2020. Tobit regression was used to measure the relationships of healthcare service access and social networks with quality of life of older adults in Victoria compared to those in the rest of Australia.

Results: A total of 2,990 respondents (mean [SD] age, 67.3 [7.0]; 66.8 % female) participated. At time of data collection, Victoria's second COVID-19 lockdown had been in force for an average 51.7 days. Median quality of life scores were significantly higher in Victoria compared to the rest of Australia (t2,827=2.25 p = 0.025). Being female (95 % CI, -0.051-0.020), having lower educational attainment (95 % CI, -0.089--0.018), receiving government benefits (95 % CI, -0.054--0.024), having small social networks (95 % CI, 0.006-0.009) and self-reported physical chronic health conditions were all independent predictors of lower quality of life.

Conclusions: Longer-term studies are required to provide more robust evidence of the impact as restrictions lift and normal social conventions return.

Original languageEnglish
Article number400
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19)
  • Lifestyle restrictions
  • Lockdown
  • Wellbeing
  • Social networks

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