Background: We aimed to assess the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms, hopelessness and insomnia in the older adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic identifying subgroups at higher risk of mental distress. Methods: Within the Lost in Lombardy project, a web-based cross-sectional study was conducted on a representative sample of 4400 older adults aged 65 years or more from the Lombardy region recruited between November 17th and 30th 2020. Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms increased by +112 % during the pandemic, anxiety symptoms by +136 %, insufficient sleep by +12 %, unsatisfactory sleep by +15 %. Feelings of hopelessness were more frequent among women compared to men and increased with increasing age. A worsening in each of the four specific mental health outcomes was more frequently observed in women (OR = 1.50, depression; OR = 1.31, anxiety; OR = 1.57, sleep quality; OR = 1.38, sleep quantity), in subjects who decreased their physical activity during the pandemic (OR = 1.64, depression; OR = 1.48, anxiety; OR = 2.05, sleep quality; OR = 1.28, sleep quantity), and with increasing number of pre-existing chronic diseases. The use of at least one psychotropic drug - mostly antidepressants/anxiolytics - increased by +26 % compared to pre-pandemic. Limitations: Pre-pandemic symptoms were retrospectively reported during the Covid pandemic. Potential information and recall bias should not be ruled out. Conclusions: If confirmed by future longitudinal studies, our findings could support evidence-based health and welfare policies on responding to this pandemic and on how to promote mental health and wellbeing, should future waves of infection emerge.

COVID-19 pandemic impact on mental health in a large representative sample of older adults from the Lombardy region, Italy

Iacoviello, Licia;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: We aimed to assess the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms, hopelessness and insomnia in the older adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic identifying subgroups at higher risk of mental distress. Methods: Within the Lost in Lombardy project, a web-based cross-sectional study was conducted on a representative sample of 4400 older adults aged 65 years or more from the Lombardy region recruited between November 17th and 30th 2020. Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms increased by +112 % during the pandemic, anxiety symptoms by +136 %, insufficient sleep by +12 %, unsatisfactory sleep by +15 %. Feelings of hopelessness were more frequent among women compared to men and increased with increasing age. A worsening in each of the four specific mental health outcomes was more frequently observed in women (OR = 1.50, depression; OR = 1.31, anxiety; OR = 1.57, sleep quality; OR = 1.38, sleep quantity), in subjects who decreased their physical activity during the pandemic (OR = 1.64, depression; OR = 1.48, anxiety; OR = 2.05, sleep quality; OR = 1.28, sleep quantity), and with increasing number of pre-existing chronic diseases. The use of at least one psychotropic drug - mostly antidepressants/anxiolytics - increased by +26 % compared to pre-pandemic. Limitations: Pre-pandemic symptoms were retrospectively reported during the Covid pandemic. Potential information and recall bias should not be ruled out. Conclusions: If confirmed by future longitudinal studies, our findings could support evidence-based health and welfare policies on responding to this pandemic and on how to promote mental health and wellbeing, should future waves of infection emerge.
2023
Anxiety; COVID-19; Depression; Hopelessness; Lost in Lombardy; Older adults
Amerio, Andrea; Stival, Chiara; Lugo, Alessandra; Fanucchi, Tiziana; D'Oro, Luca Cavalieri; Iacoviello, Licia; Odone, Anna; Stuckler, David; Zucchi, Alberto; Serafini, Gianluca; Gallus, Silvano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2145851
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