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Article

The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Life Activities and Delivery of Healthcare Services in the Elderly Population

1
Department and Clinic of Internal Medicine, Occupational Diseases, Hypertension and Clinical Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Borowska St. 213, 50-556 Wrocław, Poland
2
Department of Pathology, Wroclaw Medical University, K. Marcinkowskiego St. 1, 50-368 Wrocław, Poland
3
Laboratory of RNA Biochemistry, Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, Takustraße 6, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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Second Department and Clinic of General and Oncological Surgery, Wroclaw Medical University, Borowska St. 213, 50-556 Wrocław, Poland
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Department of Geriatrics, Wroclaw Medical University, Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie St. 66, 50-369 Wroclaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michele Roccella
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(18), 4089; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184089
Received: 23 July 2021 / Revised: 2 September 2021 / Accepted: 7 September 2021 / Published: 10 September 2021
Due to the prevailing pandemic of the coronavirus disease COVID-19, we are experiencing emotional and social isolation, which negatively affects mental and physical health, particularly among the elderly population. In this study, we performed a cross-sectional analysis based on computer-assisted telephone interviews of 500 Polish adults aged 60 years or older in order to determine the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the older population’s behavior, life activity, and delivery of healthcare services. According to our study, COVID-19 infection entailed a substantial change in older people’s behavior. Over 50%, nearly 80%, and more than 25% of the surveyed participants reduced their social, recreational, and professional activities, respectively. The most significant change in senior’s behavior due to the fear of COVID-19 infection was observed in patients (1) with cardiac and pulmonary problems, (2) being on multi-drug therapy, (3) vaccinated against influenza, and (4) with several mental difficulties including loneliness, social isolation, and depression. Furthermore, we demonstrated that 10% of participants canceled planned hospitalization due to the fear of COVID-19 infection. This was observed primarily in patients suffering from chronic heart and lung diseases, vaccinated against influenza, exhibiting the reluctance to carry out more complex daily activities, and with a higher level of anxiety, social loneliness, and malnutrition. Thus, these groups of seniors require more attention; hence, we propose telemedicine as a strategy directed to them that provides clinical healthcare and information regarding measurements, control, and protection against SARS-CoV-2 during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. We believe this strategy may improve treatment outcomes, reduce comorbidities-related complications and unnecessary hospitalizations. View Full-Text
Keywords: quality of life; fear of COVID-19; elderly population; telemedicine quality of life; fear of COVID-19; elderly population; telemedicine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Agrawal, S.; Makuch, S.; Dróżdż, M.; Strzelec, B.; Sobieszczańska, M.; Mazur, G. The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Life Activities and Delivery of Healthcare Services in the Elderly Population. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 4089. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184089

AMA Style

Agrawal S, Makuch S, Dróżdż M, Strzelec B, Sobieszczańska M, Mazur G. The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Life Activities and Delivery of Healthcare Services in the Elderly Population. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(18):4089. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184089

Chicago/Turabian Style

Agrawal, Siddarth, Sebastian Makuch, Mateusz Dróżdż, Bartłomiej Strzelec, Małgorzata Sobieszczańska, and Grzegorz Mazur. 2021. "The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Life Activities and Delivery of Healthcare Services in the Elderly Population" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 18: 4089. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184089

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