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Arch Gerontol Geriatr ; 101: 104706, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797165


BACKGROUND: The number of socially isolated older adults has increased owing to the coronavirus disease pandemic, thus leading to a decrease in cognitive functions among this group. Smartphone use is expected to be a reasonable preventive measure against cognitive decline in this social context. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the influence of social isolation and smartphone use on cognitive functions in community-dwelling older adults. METHODS: We divided 4,601 community-dwelling older adults into four groups based on their levels of social isolation and smartphone use. Then, we conducted cognitive functions tests including a word list memory task, trail-making test, and symbol digit substitution task. Social isolation was defined when participants met two or more of the following measures: domestic isolation, less social contact, and social disengagement. We used an analysis of covariance adjusted by background information to measure between-group differences in levels of cognitive functions and social isolation. A linear regression model was used to analyze the association of standardized scores of cognitive function tests with smartphone use. RESULTS: Smartphone users' scores of the symbol digit substitution task were superior compared with both non-users with social isolation and without. All cognitive functions were associated with smartphone use among non-socially and socially isolated participants. Socially isolated older adults showed an association only between trail making test- part A and smartphone use. CONCLUSIONS: Smartphone use was associated with cognitive functions (memory, attentional function, executive function, and processing speed) even in socially isolated community-dwelling older adults.

Cognitive Dysfunction , Smartphone , Aged , Cognition , Cognitive Dysfunction/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Independent Living/psychology , Social Isolation
Arch Gerontol Geriatr ; 98: 104560, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525685


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to social isolation measures, forcing many people to stay indoors, stop daily outdoor activities, and limit face-to-face social interactions with friends, colleagues, and family. This study aimed to identify if non-face-to-face interaction affects depressive symptoms and frailty in older adults. METHODS: We included 3834 older adults (age: 71.1 ± 6.9 [mean ± standard deviation] years; range: 60-96 years; 2153 women) from the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology-Study of Geriatric Syndromes. Interaction status was assessed using a self-reported questionnaire. Participants were categorized into: "both interactions" (both face-to-face and non-face-to-face interactions), "face-to-face only" (only face-to-face interactions), "non-face-to-face only" (only non-face-to-face interactions), "no interactions" (neither face-to-face nor non-face-to-face interactions) groups. Depressive symptoms and frailty were measured using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale and Kihon Checklist, respectively. RESULTS: Potential confounding factors-adjusted odds ratios for both, face-to-face only and non-face-to-face only groups for developing depressive symptoms were 0.39 (95%CI, 0.26-0.57; p<0.001), 0.56 (95%CI, 0.38-0.84; p=0.004), and 0.51 (95%CI, 0.27-0.96; p=0.038), respectively, and those for development of frailty were 0.44 (95%CI, 0.30-0.65; p<0.001), 0.59 (95%CI, 0.39-0.87; p=0.008), and 0.63 (95%CI, 0.34-1.15; p=0.128), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that non-face-to-face interactions are also important in preventing the deterioration of mental health, which is a concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, non-face-to-face interactions alone may not be sufficient to maintain physical health, and it is important to maintain opportunities for face-to-face interaction among older adults, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/prevention & control , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation