Psychological impact of sociodemographic factors and medical conditions in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico

Alejandro González-González, Aldebarán Toledo-Fernández, Héctor Romo-Parra, Ernesto Reyes-Zamorano, Diana Betancourt-Ocampo



Introduction. Older adults are not only at a higher medical risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they may also be a group particularly vulnerable to mental health diminishing.

Objective. To analyze the effect of some sociodemographic factors (sex and age) and medical conditions (diabetes and hypertension) on mental health and concerns about COVID-19 in a sample of older adults.

Method. A non-probabilistic sample of 2,992 older adults (37.7% men and 62.3% women) was selected, with an average age of 70.45 years (SD = 7.31). Participants were given the Impact of Event Scale-6 (IES-6), the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), a questionnaire of concerns about COVID-19, and a sociodemographic questionnaire. Participants’ answers were captured via Google Forms.

Results. The results showed that women had greater concerns about COVID-19 than men. The findings in general showed significant effects, with women showing higher scores in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and greater stress generated in addition by the impact of the event. Differences concerning event-related stress and depression were found in relation to subgroups by age.

Discussion and conclusion. These finding could serve for the planning and development of strategies that provide attention to the mental health of this population group.


Older adults; depression; anxiety; stress; COVID-19

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