By becoming self-motivated, ARCED has taken the initiative to solely organize an impact study regarding the effect of COVID-19 on older adults in Bangladesh. For this research, 1000 elderly adult and 400 Rohingya participants has been surveyed digitally and physically that has published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology journal.
Tags: COVID19, elderly, publichealth
Effect of COVID-19 on older adults in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, the first COVID-19 confirmed case was reported on March 8, 2020, in a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's bazar and after that the number of positive cases has been increasing rapidly and spread throughout the country.
Although people from all age group have been at danger, the risk for elderly adults have elevated due to their health condition which has been entangled in different other illness due to age or other reason.
The average life expectancy in Bangladesh has increased from 64.0 years in 2000 to 72.7 years in 2016 resulting in a burgeoning population of older adults. In 2019, 8% of the country's total population would be elderly adults, aged over 60%. Moreover, the Rohingya population who have been displaced from their motherland and currently residing in Bangladesh as Refugees are facing a unique challenge in this pandemic.
Rohingya refuges have been at increased risk of COVID-19 due to high population density within the camps. Therefore, ARCED Foundation has wanted to explore the impact of COVID-19 on social contact, loneliness, medication adherence for chronic disease and lifestyle activity in older adults along with perceived fear and anxiety and depression imposed by COVID-19 among the older adults. And additionally, ARCED has tried to explore the misconceptions regarding the spread, prevention and treatment of COVID-19 among older adults.
A cross-sectional design has been followed to collect information from 1000 elderly adults from 8 divisions of Bangladesh and 400 Rohingya participants. Due to COVID-19, 40-minute CATI phone surveys have been conducted with elderly adults by using a structured questionnaire and for Rohingya refugees' face-to-face interview has been conducted by voluntary efforts from the nutrition support center in the Rohingya refugee camps with the help of interpreters.
Chi-square test has been performed to measure differences in proportions and independent sample t-tests will be used to calculate the mean difference. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression has also been performed to investigate the association between the outcome and explanatory variables.
This research has taken 2 months to reach completion which has discovered that presence of overwhelming fear of COVID-19 among the older adults of Bangladesh underlines the psychological needs of these vulnerable groups and health workers have been a key role in addressing these needs and further research is needed to identify the effective strategies for them to use. Later on, it has been selected to be published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, The International Journal for Research in Social and Genetic Epidemiology and Mental Health Services.