BACKGROUND: Many institutions withheld elective lists and triaged surgeries during the peak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, older surgical patients have had to wait for rescheduled dates in a long waitlist. This study aimed to identify the psychological impact in these patients when they returned for surgery. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study which included 153 patients aged ≥ 65 years undergoing elective surgery. Trained interviewers recruited and assessed psychological status pre-operatively with two validated questionnaires - Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Specific questions were asked about their postponed surgeries, appetite and fear. RESULTS: A total of 36 out of 153 (23.5%) patients had their procedures deferred during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Postponed cases were significantly based on the nature of surgery (p = 0.002), cancer diagnosis (p = 0.006) and surgical specialty (p = 0.023). Median HADS scores were higher for patients who were postponed (2.00 versus 4.00 for anxiety, p = 0.180 and 0.00 versus 1.00 for depression, p = 0.424) although no statistical significance was shown. In the whole study population, anxiety was a significant predictor for depression and vice versa (p < 0.001) with other predictive risk factors for anxiety that were age ≥ 85 years old (odds ratio [OR] 6.14, p = 0.018), female (OR 2.41, p = 0.024), cancer (OR 2.19, p = 0.039) and major surgery (OR 2.39, p = 0.023). Similarly, older patients ≥ 85 years old (OR 10.44, p = 0.003) and female (OR 6.07, p = 0.006) had higher risk for depression. Both anxiety and depression were significant risks for loss of appetite (p = 0.005 and 0.001). Lastly, the fear of disease progression due to rescheduling was more frequent in cancer patients (p = 0.035). CONCLUSION: The mental health and disease burden of older surgical patients should be taken into careful consideration when cases need to be postponed in our healthcare system.
AIM: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of healthcare to vulnerable older adults, prompting the expansion of telemedicine usage. This study surveyed the acceptance of virtual medical consultations among older adults and caregivers within geriatric outpatient services in a tertiary hospital during the pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among caregivers and patients attending geriatric outpatient services in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The survey measured the availability of equipment for virtual consultations, prior knowledge and experience of telemedicine, and willingness to consult geriatricians through virtual technology, using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) scale. RESULTS: A total of 197 caregivers and 42 older patients with a mean age of 54.28 (±13.22) and 75.62 (±7.32) years, respectively, completed the survey. One hundred and fifty-six (79.2%) of the caregivers were adult children accompanying patients. The mean UTAUT score was 65.97 (±13.71) out of 90, with 66.64 (±13.25) for caregivers and 62.79 (±15.44) for older adults, suggesting a high acceptance of adopting virtual consultations in lieu of face-to-face care. The independent predictors of acceptance of virtual consultation were : possession of an electronic device capable of video-communication, living with someone, living in a care home, weekly online banking usage, and perceived familiarity with virtual platforms. CONCLUSION: Caregivers and patients indicated a high level of acceptance of virtual medical consultations, which is likely facilitated by caregivers such as adult children or spouses at home or staff in care homes. To minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in a highly vulnerable group, virtual consultations are an acceptable alternative to face-to-face consultations for older people and their caregivers in our setting.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Caregivers , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2
(1) Background: Older people with COVID-19 infection report worse clinical outcomes. There is a paucity of local data and this study aimed to describe the clinical progression of older people admitted to a university hospital in Malaysia with COVID-19 infection. (2) Methods: Older people (≥60 years) admitted with COVID-19 infection confirmed with RT-PCR from 27 February 2020-25 May 2020 were included in this study. Data on patient characteristics, hospital treatment, and inpatient outcomes were collected via hospital-held electronic medical records. Analysis was done to describe the cohort and identify factors associated with inpatient mortality. (3) Results: 26 participants were included (mean age 76.2 years, female 57.7%). All had at least one comorbid condition and half were frail. About 19.2% had non-respiratory (atypical) symptoms; 23.1% had a severe disease that required intensive care unit monitoring; 46.2% were given COVID-19 targeted therapy. Inpatient mortality and overall complication rates were 23.1% and 42.3%, respectively. Delirium on presentation and lower Ct-value were associated with mortality. (4) Conclusions: Older people with COVID-19 infection have severe infection and poor hospital outcomes. Vigilant hospital care is necessary to address their multimorbidity and frailty, along with appropriate treatment for their infection.