1887
Volume 2023, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426

Abstract

Background: Primary care-based studies examining the prevalence of anxiety symptoms severity and associated factors among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic are scarce. The study aims to determine the prevalence of general anxiety symptoms severity and associated sociodemographic and physical health characteristics, including SARS-CoV-2 infection history, among older adults in primary care in Qatar during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a random sample of older adults aged 60 years and above (n = 337) from all primary health care centers (n = 28) of Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation. Participants were interviewed via telephone by family physicians between June and August 2020. General anxiety symptoms severity was assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item Scale (GAD-7). Descriptive statistics and ordinal regression were used to analyse the data.

Results: The mean age of participants was 65 years (ranging from 60 to 89 years), standard deviation = 4.8. About 49.0% and 32.0% of participants were females and of Qatari nationality, respectively. The prevalence of minimal, mild, moderate, and severe general anxiety symptoms was 82.5%, 13.9%, 3.0%, and 0.6%, respectively. Around 33.5%, 63.5%, and 3.0% of participants had unknown, negative, or positive SARS-CoV-2 infection histories, respectively. Females had greater odds of higher levels of anxiety symptoms severity (odds ratio (OR) 2.34; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22, 4.50; p = 0.011). As compared to participants with unknown SARS-CoV-2 infection status, those with a negative and positive SARS-CoV-2 infection history had increased odds of higher levels of general anxiety symptoms severity by 2.48 (95% CI 1.17, 5.24; p = 0.017) and 7.21 (95% CI 1.67, 31.25; p = 0.008), respectively. Age, marital status, living arrangements, nationality, and the number of medical conditions had no statistically significant associations with general anxiety symptoms severity.

Conclusions: Most older adults experience minimal to mild anxiety symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Female gender and confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection history are independent predictors of more severe anxiety symptoms among older adults.

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2023-07-18
2024-06-24
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): AnxietyCOVID-19Cross-sectional studyGAD-7Older adults and SARS-CoV-2
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