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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 211-216

Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health of Aged Population in India: An Online, Cross-sectional Survey

1 Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, AIIMS, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
3 Department of Psychology, IGNOU, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
5 Department of Research and Development, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rachna Bhargava
Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_33_22

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Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the lives of millions of people around the world. The stress due to the increased risk of morbidity and mortality among the elderly along with the lockdown measures can impact the mental health of older aged adults. Hence, the current study aimed to assess the mental health impact of COVID-19 pandemic on older adults in India. Methods: The current study was part of an online, cross-sectional survey conducted in eight countries. For the current study, participants were included if they were Indians, were at least 55 years of age, had Internet access, were residing in India, and were willing to participate in the study. A semi-structured questionnaire to assess the sociodemographic data and worries related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), and Impact of Events Scale-Revised were applied. Results: A total of 181 older adults participated. The most common worries were the impact of COVID on society (65.2%) and on friends and family (50.8%). About 14.9%, 2.8%, and 14.9% of participants were screened positive for depression, probable posttraumatic stress disorder, and anxiety based on PHQ-9, IES-R, and GAD-7, respectively. There was a significant association of both depression and anxiety with preexisting mental illness, worry about transmitting COVID to others, ability to care for others, impact of COVID-19 on one's own health, finances, and society. Conclusions: Higher levels of altruism and “psychological jointedness” in the Indian family could have led to this unique finding that older adults were more worried about the impact of pandemic on others, than self.

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