- More than a third of the elderly questioned reports symptoms of anxiety and depression. Women seem to be more affected than men.1
- The social isolation of the elderly in times of quarantine puts them at risk of developing symptoms of anxiety and depression.2,3
- Fear of contracting SARS and social isolation were found to be statistically significant factors contributing to elderly suicides in 2003 in Hong Kong.3
- Psychological interventions targeting the elderly must be implemented to reduce the distress caused by the disease, and further mental health conditions.1-3
- Measures such as psychological assistance hotlines, online consultations and seeking help at a professional institution are recommended in case of important distress within the older population.1,2
The data from the first article comes from a survey made thought the Internet, in various parts of China. A total of 1556 older Chinese citizens (≥ 60 years old) took part in the study. It was made available on Psychiatry Research, an established peer-reviewed journal, as a pre-proofed article.
The second source consists of a commentary published on the Lancet Public Health, a branch of The Lancet, a reputable peer-reviewed medical journal.
The third article is based on case studies of 22 suicide deaths amongst the elderly during the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong followed by a quantitative analysis. It was published on Crisis, the Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, an international periodical that publishes articles on suicide and crisis intervention.
- Meng, H., Xu, Y., Dai, J., et al. (April 11, 2020). Analyze the psychological impact of COVID-19 among the elderly population in China and make corresponding suggestions. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112983
- Armitage, R., Nellums, B. (March 19, 2020). COVID-19 and the consequences of isolating the elderly. The Lancelet Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30061-X
- Yip, PS., Cheung, YT., Chau, PH., Law, YW. (April 23, 2010). The impact of epidemic outbreak: the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and suicide among older adults in Hong Kong. Crisis. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000015.