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1.
Australas J Ageing ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741320

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore older persons' perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on participating in community activities after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. METHODS: Mixed-methods study design. Participants were older adults who were discharged home following inpatient rehabilitation. Interviews were conducted with 70 participants, with a variety of diagnoses, 8 weeks after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Frequency of participation in domestic, leisure/work and outdoor activities was measured using the Frenchay Activities Index (FAI). Qualitative analysis was completed using qualitative content analysis and triangulated with FAI scores. RESULTS: In all, 70 older adults (mean age: 73.0 years, SD: 9.9; 59% female) participated in the study. The overarching theme was that participants felt socially isolated following discharge from rehabilitation, with COVID-19 restrictions increasing perceptions of social isolation and complicating their return to participating in community activities. The four categories informing the overarching theme were as follows: physical health was the primary limitation to participation in community activities; COVID-19 restrictions limited participation in social activities and centre-based physical rehabilitation; low uptake of videoconferencing to facilitate socialisation and rehabilitation; and reduced incidental physical activity. Mean FAI score was 21.2 (SD 7.8), indicating that participants were moderately active. Participants most commonly performed domestic activities (mean: 10.0, SD: 4.1), followed by outdoor activities (mean: 6.6, SD: 3.5) and leisure/work activities (mean: 4.5, SD: 2.5). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 restrictions exacerbated perceptions of social isolation and the limitations already imposed by poor physical health after discharge from rehabilitation. The findings highlight the need for rehabilitation that addresses the psychological and social dimensions of community reintegration.

2.
Intern Med J ; 51(7): 1151-1155, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273100

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the rapid implementation of telehealth. However, little is known about its suitability for the older population. We evaluated the use of telehealth in geriatric outpatient clinics. Half of the appointments needed to be re-scheduled due to language barrier, poor connection, hard of hearing and inability to perform assessments. Advantages included time efficiency and ability to visualise the home. Preference for the future was initial appointments as face-face, but reviews as either telehealth or face-face.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Aged , Ambulatory Care Facilities , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Exp Gerontol ; 152: 111434, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258367

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Evidence-based interventions to improve mobility in older people include balance, strength and cognitive training. Digital technologies provide the opportunity to deliver tailored and progressive programs at home. However, it is unknown if they are effective in older people, especially in those with cognitive impairment. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of a novel tablet-delivered cognitive-motor program on mobility in older people with cognitive impairment. METHODS: This was a 6-month single-blind randomised controlled trial of older people living in the community with subjective and/or objective cognitive impairment. Participants randomised to the intervention were asked to follow a 120 min per week balance, strength and cognitive training program delivered via an app on an iPad. Both the intervention and control group received monthly phone calls and health fact sheets. The primary outcome measure was gait speed. Secondary measures included dual-task gait speed, balance (step test, FISCIT-4), 5 sit to stand test, cognition (executive function, memory, attention), mood and balance confidence. Adherence, safety, usability and feedback were also measured. RESULTS: The planned sample size of 110 was not reached due to COVID-19 restrictions. A total of 93 (mean age 72.8 SD 7.0 years) participants were randomised to the two groups. Of these 77 participants returned to the follow-up clinic. In intention-to-treat analysis for gait speed, there was a non-significant improvement favouring the intervention group (ß 0.04 m/s 95% CI -0.01, 0.08). There were no significant findings for secondary outcomes. Adherence was excellent (84.5%), usability of the app high (76.7% SD 15.3) and no serious adverse events were reported. Feedback on the app was positive and included suggestions for future updates. CONCLUSION: Due to COVID-19 the trial was under powered to detect significant results. Despite this, there was a trend towards improvement in the primary outcome measure. The excellent adherence and positive feedback about the app suggest a fully powered trial is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Accidental Falls , Aged , Cognition , Cognitive Dysfunction/therapy , Exercise , Exercise Therapy , Humans , Postural Balance , SARS-CoV-2 , Single-Blind Method , Tablets
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