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Health Place ; 74: 102772, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701406


During a pandemic, it is important to know whether social capital can mitigate the risk of mental disorders, given the restrictions on social interactions. However, evidence using longitudinal data is scarce. This study examined the association between pre-pandemic social capital and depressive symptoms during COVID-19 among older adults. We used longitudinal data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES), including 8291 participants aged 65 or older who were physically and cognitively independent and not depressed at baseline. We conducted baseline and follow-up mail surveys in ten municipalities in Japan from November 2019 to January 2020 (pre-pandemic period) and from November 2020 to February 2021 (pandemic period), respectively. We measured depressive symptoms using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale. Social capital was measured with three validated subscales, namely, civic participation, social cohesion, and reciprocity. We performed a multilevel logistic regression analysis to examine the association. A total of 1089 (13.1%) participants newly developed depressive symptoms during the pandemic. The logistic regression showed that pre-pandemic individual-level social cohesion (odds ratio = 0.79, 95% confidence interval: 0.73 to 0.86) and reciprocity (0.89, 0.82 to 0.96) and community-level reciprocity (0.93, 0.88 to 0.98) were negatively associated with the odds of depressive symptoms. Even after adjusting for declines in social capital during the pandemic, the observed associations of pre-pandemic social capital remained. Fostering social cohesion and reciprocity may increase resilience to mental disorders during a pandemic of infectious disease.

COVID-19 , Social Capital , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Social Participation
J Epidemiol ; 2021 Feb 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069681


BACKGROUND: Increasing the coverage of vaccinations recommended by the World Health Organization in the older adult population is an urgent issue, especially in the context of avoiding co-epidemics during the current coronavirus disease 2019 crisis. The aim of this study was to examine factors associated with the quality of perceived patient-physician communication and whether this variable was associated with increased odds of vaccination. METHODS: We used cross-sectional data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study conducted from October 2016 to January 2017. The participants were 22,253 physically and cognitively independent individuals aged 65 or older living in 39 municipalities in Japan. Multilevel logit models were used to estimate the odds of vaccination. RESULTS: Among the participants, 40.0% and 58.8% had received pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations as per the recommended schedule, respectively. People with low educational levels were more likely to have a family physician but rate their experience in asking questions lower than those with higher educational levels. Having a family physician and high rating for physicians' listening attitude were positively associated with increased odds of pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations. High rating for patients' questioning attitude and shared decision-making, compared to an ambiguous attitude toward medical decision-making, were positively associated with increased odds of pneumococcal vaccination. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that promotion of having a family physician, better patient-physician communication, and shared decision-making may encourage older adults to undergo recommended vaccinations.

J Appl Gerontol ; 41(1): 167-175, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999441


Evidence on the association between internet usage and incidence of depression remains mixed. We examined the associations between different categories of internet usage and developing clinical depression. We used data from the 2013 and 2016 waves of the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) comprising 12,333 physically and cognitively independent adults aged ≥65 years. Participants were engaged in seven categories of internet usage: communication with friends/family, social media, information collection about health/medicine, searching for medical facilities, purchase of drugs and vitamins, shopping, and banking. We found that internet use for communication had a protective influence on the probability of developing clinical depression defined as the Geriatric Depression Scale scores ≥5 or self-reported diagnosed depression. Our findings support the role of online communication with friends/family in preventing clinical depression among older people. Online communication could be particularly useful in the COVID-19 crisis because many families are geographically dispersed and/or socially distanced.

COVID-19 , Depression , Aged , Communication , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/prevention & control , Friends , Humans , Internet , SARS-CoV-2
Primary Care ; 5(4):61-66, 2020.
Article in Japanese | JAMA Network | ID: covidwho-903431