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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 101-106

Study on the effect of COVID-19 lockdown on health care and psychosocial aspects of elderly in Kerala State


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Government T. D. Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Dr. S.M.C.S.I Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
4 Department of Internal Medicine, Government Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Padmakumar Balasundaram
Department of Internal Medicine, Government T. D. Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiag.jiag_3_20

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Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the effect of COVID-19 lockdown on the health care and psychosocial aspects of the elderly in Kerala. Methodology: The study was a community-based cross-sectional study designed as an online survey, and the study setting was the entire state of Kerala. Target participants (more than 60 years old) were selected with nongovernment organizations working in geriatric welfare. The tool used for the survey was a semi-structured online questionnaire. To assess the magnitude of psychological distress, Geriatric Anxiety Scale-? Version 2.0 was used. Results: Five hundred and thirty-six elderly people were included in the study, of which 273 (50.9%) were males and 263 (49.1%) were females. Four hundred and forty-two people (82.5%) were on regular medications before the lockdown, of which 28 (6.3%) missed the same during lockdown. Routine laboratory testing went down from 404 (75.4%) to 294 (54.9%) and medical follow-up from 348 (64.9%) to 180 (33.6%) during the lockdown period. Two hundred and three elderly (37.9%) in the study population showed significant anxiety symptoms. Conclusions: Lockdown has adversely affected the health care and non-COVID medical services of the elderly. Fear of COVID infection and the presence of possible COVID infection symptoms were associated with psychological distress and anxiety. Proper psychosocial interventions are necessary to mitigate the effects of lockdown on health care and psychosocial aspects of the elderly.


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