RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LONELINESS, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, AND DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS AMONG OLDER ADULTS: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY CONDUCTED DURING THE FOURTH WAVE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN TURKEY


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AÇIKGÖZ A., Yoruk S., Sahan A. G., Guler D. S.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF GERIATRICS-TURK GERIATRI DERGISI, vol.25, no.3, pp.386-395, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.31086/tjgeri.2022.298
  • Journal Name: TURKISH JOURNAL OF GERIATRICS-TURK GERIATRI DERGISI
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE
  • Page Numbers: pp.386-395
  • Keywords: Depression, Loneliness, Aged, Exercise, ACTIVITY SCALE, MENTAL-HEALTH, ELDERLY PASE
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Introduction: This study aims to examine the prevalence of depressive symptoms, its influencing factors, and the relationship between loneliness, physical activity and depressive symptoms among individuals aged 65 years and above during the COVID-19 pandemic.Materials and Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 1093 older adults in Turkey. A Descriptive Data Form, the Loneliness Scale for the Elderly, the Geriatric Depression Scale-15, and the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly were used to collect data. In this study, the presence of depressive symptoms was the dependent variable; sociodemographic and individual characteristics, habits, history of chronic illness and COVID-19, perception of loneliness and physical activity level were independent variables.Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms among older adults was 66.8%. Depressive symptoms were 3.96 times higher among women, 8.06 times higher in urban areas, 2.56 times higher among those who had equal income and expenses, and 2.78 times higher among older adults who had less income than expenses. Depressive symptoms were further 1.98 times higher among those who had chronic diseases and 25.54 times higher among those diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, depressive symptoms increased by 23.24 times among those who did not have a hobby, and 1.53 times for each one-point increase in the level of loneliness. No relationship was found between physical activity levels and depressive symptoms.Conclusion: The results show that two out of three older adults were depressed. Characteristics such as having had COVID-19, loneliness, and hobbies, were significant influencing factors of depressive symptoms among older adults. There is a need to adopt feasible and protective policies that cater to the needs and control the risk factors of older adults during the pandemic.