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1.
BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 299, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779600

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the adverse physical health impact of COVID-19 on older adults, whether they are psychosocially vulnerable under the pandemic remains debatable. In this mixed methods study, we examined the psychosocial vulnerability of older adults relative to their younger counterparts and explored how they coped with the pandemic. METHODS: From September to October 2020, 1067 adults in Hong Kong were randomly sampled and completed a telephone survey, whereas 10 older adults were recruited for individual interviews between September 2020 and April 2021. Quantitative measurements included subjective well-being, worries about COVID-19, and changes in social capital and social interaction since the pandemic. The transcribed qualitative data were closely read and summarized using thematic analyses. RESULTS: Compared with younger adults, older adults tended to be less worried about COVID-19 infection and economic activity/livelihood, despite being slightly more worried about supplies of personal protective equipment. They also had better subjective well-being in terms of happiness and life satisfaction, with their social capital and social interaction less affected. In addition, five themes emerged from the qualitative interviews: (1) life philosophy; (2) economic security; (3) telecommunication; (4) role of community organizations and social workers; and (5) positive coping strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Older adults in this study showed better psychosocial well-being than their younger counterparts under the COVID-19 pandemic, which challenged the deeply rooted societal stereotype about the vulnerability of older adults. The stronger resilience for positive coping, technological assistance, and targeted government and community support may have protected older adults from distress during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adaptation, Psychological , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle ; 13(3): 1653-1672, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750384

ABSTRACT

General muscle health declines with age, and in particular, sarcopenia-defined as progressive loss of muscle mass and strength/physical performance-is a growing issue in Asia with a rising population of community-dwelling older adults. Several guidelines have addressed early identification of sarcopenia and management, and although nutrition is central to treatment of sarcopenia, there are currently few guidelines that have examined this specifically in the Asian population. Therefore, the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia established a special interest group (SIG) comprising seven experts across Asia and one from Australia, to develop an evidence-based expert consensus. A systematic literature search was conducted using MEDLINE on the topic of muscle health, from 2016 (inclusive) to July 2021, in Asia or with relevance to healthy, Asian community-dwelling older adults (≥60 years old). Several key topics were identified: (1) nutritional status: malnutrition and screening; (2) diet and dietary factors; (3) nutritional supplementation; (4) lifestyle interventions plus nutrition; and (5) outcomes and assessment. Clinical questions were developed around these topics, leading to 14 consensus statements. Consensus was achieved using the modified Delphi method with two rounds of voting. Moreover, the consensus addressed the impacts of COVID-19 on nutrition, muscle health, and sarcopenia in Asia. These statements encompass clinical expertise and knowledge across Asia and are aligned with findings in the current literature, to provide a practical framework for addressing muscle health in the community, with the overall aim to encourage and facilitate broader access to equitable care for this target population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sarcopenia , Aged , Humans , Independent Living , Middle Aged , Muscles , Nutritional Status , Sarcopenia/diagnosis , Sarcopenia/epidemiology , Sarcopenia/therapy
3.
J Geriatr Oncol ; 13(5): 682-690, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729905

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the feasibility and potential effects of qigong Baduanjin for reversing frailty status among older cancer survivors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight older cancer survivors screened as pre-frail or frail were recruited. They were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive a sixteen-week Baduanjin intervention or an active control condition (light flexibility exercise). Frailty status (primary outcome) and secondary outcomes (physical performance, activities of daily living performance, psychological well-being, and health-related quality of life) were measured by physical performance tests and questionnaires. Qualitative interviews were conducted to explore participants' perspectives on the intervention. RESULTS: Twenty-one participants (75%) completed the study, with reasons of withdrawal mainly relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendance at Baduanjin sessions and adherence to self-practice were satisfactory, with all retained participants attending all sessions and 81.8% practicing Baduanjin for more than 90 min per week. Qualitative findings demonstrated that participants accepted Baduanjin. The proportion of improvement in frailty status at post-intervention appeared to be higher in the intervention group (26.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 10.1% to 54.0%) than the control group (15.4%; 95% CI, 3.7% to 46.0%); yet the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.461). CONCLUSIONS: Baduanjin qigong appears to be feasible and acceptable among older cancer survivors. To confirm the intervention effect, an adequately powered trial is warranted. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04694066. Retrospectively registered 5 January 2021, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04694066.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cancer Survivors , Frailty , Neoplasms , Qigong , Activities of Daily Living , Exercise Therapy , Humans , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Quality of Life
4.
Age Ageing ; 51(1)2022 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722192

ABSTRACT

Populations in Asian developed economies are rapidly ageing, such that, currently, Hong Kong and Japan have the longest life expectancy at birth for both men and women. However, extended lifespan is not necessarily accompanied by prolongation of health span, such that there is increasing prevalence of frailty and dependency, which translates into increase in complex health and social needs as well as increase in absolute numbers of older adults that require such needs. Consideration of social determinants of healthy ageing would be important in the design of equitable health and social care systems. There is a trend towards development of integrated medical social care in the community in Asian countries. Long-term care insurance and also philanthropic support play a role in the financing of such care models.


Subject(s)
Aging , Frailty , Aged , Female , Frailty/diagnosis , Frailty/epidemiology , Frailty/therapy , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Insurance, Long-Term Care , Life Expectancy , Male
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23161, 2021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545640

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes and amplifies pre-existing inequalities even in places with relatively well-controlled outbreaks such as Hong Kong. This study aimed to explore whether the socioeconomically disadvantaged fare worse via various types of worry in terms of their mental health and well-being. Between September and October 2020, 1067 adults in Hong Kong were recruited via a cross-sectional population-wide telephone survey. The inter-relationship between deprivation, types of worry, mental health disorders, and subjective well-being was assessed using structural equation modelling. Results showed significant total effects of deprivation on worries about being infected (p = 0.002), economic activities and livelihood (p < 0.001), and personal savings (p < 0.001), as well as mental health disorders (p < 0.001) and subjective well-being (p < 0.001). Specifically, worry about economic activities and livelihood partly mediated the total effect of deprivation on mental health disorders (p = 0.004), whereas worry about personal savings and worry about economic activities and livelihood partially mediated the total effect of deprivation on subjective well-being (p = 0.007 and 0.002, respectively). Socioeconomic inequality, particularly in mental health and well-being, could be exacerbated via people's economic concerns during the pandemic, which was largely induced by the COVID-19 containment measures rather than the pandemic per se given the relatively low COVID-19 incidence in Hong Kong.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Pandemics
6.
Eur Geriatr Med ; 13(1): 1-2, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544626
7.
Curr Psychol ; : 1-11, 2021 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439762

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially induced worries and affected individual mental health and subjective well-being. Nonetheless, a high level of social capital could potentially protect individuals who suffer from mental health problems and thus promote their subjective well-being, especially under the social distancing policies during the pandemic. To this end, based on a random sample of 1053 Hong Kong adults, structural equation modeling was applied to study the path relationships between the worries of COVID-19, social capital, mental health problems, and subjective well-being. The study found that worries during the pandemic were associated with mental health and subjective well-being, through social capital as a mediator. Moreover, social capital exhibited a stronger influence on mental health and subjective well-being in the economically inactive group than in the economically active group. This study highlights the important role of social capital during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Hong Kong's COVID-19 response has primarily focused on disease prevention, it must be noted that social services and mutual-help activities are also crucial for people to withstand the crisis.

8.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry ; n/a(n/a), 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1409615

ABSTRACT

Abstract Objectives This study aimed at revealing the caregiving challenges of the caregivers of people with dementia (PwD) during the COVID-19 pandemic when daycare service was stopped as an infection control measure, and discussed ways to help PwD and their family caregivers to maintain their well-being in the era of the pandemic. Methods Between April and May 2020, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in 152 family caregivers of PwD who were clients of daycare service prior to the pandemic. The survey examined caregivers' stress and challenges faced during daycare service cessation, their perceived needs for continuation of daycare service, and observed changes in functional status of PwD. Regression analyses were performed to explore the associated factors of caregiving stress and preference for continuation of daycare service. Results Family caregivers of PwD experienced greater caregiving stress after cessation of daycare service. Infection was their main challenge in caregiving, and their physical and emotional health was adversely affected by the longer time commitment with PwD under the stay-home policy. Older age of caregivers, greater emotional and communication problems of PwD, and more time spent with PwD were associated with greater caregiving stress. More than one-third of the participants preferred the continuation of daycare service during the pandemic. Conclusions Policy makers should consider the well-being of PwD and their caregivers when planning infection control measures. Daycare service with enhanced infection controlled measures should remain available to PwD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

9.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(11): 2874-2877, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381377

ABSTRACT

Although coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks have been relatively well controlled in Hong Kong, containment remains challenging among socioeconomically disadvantaged persons. They are at higher risk for widespread COVID-19 transmission through sizable clustering, probably because of exposure to social settings in which existing mitigation policies had differential socioeconomic effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(15)2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335082

ABSTRACT

The severity of COVID-19 infections could be exacerbated by the epidemic of chronic diseases and underlying inequalities in social determinants of health. Nonetheless, there is scanty evidence in regions with a relatively well-controlled outbreak. This study examined the socioeconomic patterning of COVID-19 severity and its effect modification with multimorbidity in Hong Kong. 3074 local COVID-19 cases diagnosed from 5 July to 31 October 2020 were analyzed and followed up until 30 November 2020. Data on residential addresses, socio-demographic background, COVID-19 clinical conditions, and pre-existing chronic diseases of confirmed cases were retrieved from the Centre for Health Protection and the Hospital Authority. Results showed that, despite an independent adverse impact of multimorbidity on COVID-19 severity (aOR = 2.35 [95% CI = 1.72-3.19]), it varied across the socioeconomic ladder, with no significant risk among those living in the wealthiest areas (aOR = 0.80 [0.32-2.02]). Also, no significant association of the area-level income-poverty rate with severe COVID-19 was observed. In conclusion, the socioeconomic patterning of severe COVID-19 was mild in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, socioeconomic position interacted with multimorbidity to determine COVID-19 severity with a mitigated risk among the socioeconomically advantaged. Plausible explanations include the underlying socioeconomic inequalities in chronic disease management and the equity impact of the public-private dual-track healthcare system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multimorbidity , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Poverty , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Syndemic
11.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011012

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We examined whether COVID-19 could exert inequalities in socioeconomic conditions and health in Hong Kong, where there has been a relatively low COVID-19 incidence. METHODS: 752 adult respondents from a previous random sample participated in a telephone survey from 20 April to 11 May 2020. We examined demographic and socioeconomic factors, worry of COVID-19, general health, economic activity, and personal protective equipment (PPE) and related hygiene practice by deprivation status. The associations between deprivation and negative COVID-19 related issues were analysed using binary logistic regressions, while the associations of these issues with health were analysed using linear regressions. Path analysis was conducted to determine the direct effect of deprivation, and the indirect effects via COVID-19 related issues, on health. Interactions between deprivation and the mediators were also tested. RESULTS: Deprived individuals were more likely to have job loss/instability, less reserves, less utilisation and more concerns of PPE. After adjustments for potential confounders, being deprived was associated with having greater risk of low reserve of face masks, being worried about the disease and job loss/instability. Being deprived had worse physical (ß=-0.154, p<0.001) and mental health (ß=-0.211, p<0.001) and had an indirect effect on mental health via worry and job loss/instability (total indirect effect: ß=-0.027, p=0.017; proportion being mediated=11.46%). In addition, significant interaction between deprivation and change of economic activity status was observed on mental health-related quality of life. CONCLUSION: Even if the COVID-19 incidence was relatively low, part of the observed health inequality can be explained by people's concerns over livelihood and economic activity, which were affected by the containment measures. We should look beyond the incidence to address COVID-19 related health inequalities.

12.
Geriatr Gerontol Int ; 20(6): 547-558, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-998919

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has casted a huge impact on global public health and the economy. In this challenging situation, older people are vulnerable to the infection and the secondary effects of the pandemic and need special attention. To evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on older people, it is important to balance the successful pandemic control and active management of secondary consequences. These considerations are particularly salient in the Asian context, with its diversity among countries in terms of sociocultural heritage, healthcare setup and availability of resources. Thus, the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia summarized the considerations of Asian countries focusing on responses and difficulties in each country, impacts of health inequity related to the COVID-19 pandemic and proposed recommendations for older people, which are germane to the Asian context. More innovative services should be developed to address the increasing demands for new approaches to deliver healthcare in these difficult times and to establish resilient healthcare systems for older people. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 9999: n/a-n/a.


Subject(s)
Aging/ethnology , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Geriatric Assessment/methods , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Sarcopenia/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/physiology , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Prevalence , Public Health , Risk Assessment , Sarcopenia/diagnosis
13.
Age Ageing ; 49(6): 901-906, 2020 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614480

ABSTRACT

Older people are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a profound impact on research as well as clinical service delivery. This commentary identifies key challenges and opportunities in continuing to conduct research with and for older people, both during and after the current pandemic. It shares opinions from responders to an international survey, a range of academic authors and opinions from specialist societies. Priorities in COVID-19 research include its specific presentation in older people, consequences for physical, cognitive and psychological health, treatments and vaccines, rehabilitation, supporting care homes more effectively, the impact of social distancing, lockdown policies and system reconfiguration to provide best health and social care for older people. COVID-19 research needs to be inclusive, particularly involving older people living with frailty, cognitive impairment or multimorbidity, and those living in care homes. Non-COVID-19 related research for older people remains of critical importance and must not be neglected in the rush to study the pandemic. Profound changes are required in the way that we design and deliver research for older people in a world where movement and face-to-face contact are restricted, but we also highlight new opportunities such as the ability to collaborate more widely and to design and deliver research efficiently at scale and speed.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Biomedical Research/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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