Behavioral and Mental Responses towards the COVID-19 Pandemic among Chinese Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study

Wei Liang, Yanping Duan*, Min Yang, Borui Shang, Chun Hu, Yanping Wang, Julien Steven Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The novel COVID-19 pandemic spread quickly and continuously influenced global societies. As a vulnerable population that accounted for the highest percentage of deaths from the pandemic, older adults have experienced huge life-altering challenges and increased risks of mental problems during the pandemic. Empirical evidence is needed to develop effective strategies to promote preventive measures and mitigate the adverse psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to investigate the behavioral responses (i.e., preventive behaviors, physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption) and mental responses (i.e., depression and loneliness) towards the COVID-19 pandemic among Chinese older adults. A further aim was to identify the associations among demographics, behavioral responses, and mental responses. Using a convenience sampling approach, 516 older adults were randomly recruited from five cities of Hubei province in China. Results of the cross-sectional survey showed that 11.7% of participants did not adhere to the WHO recommended preventive measures, while 37.6% and 8.3% of participants decreased physical activity and fruit–vegetable consumption respectively. For mental responses, 30.8% and 69.2% of participants indicated significantly depressive symptoms and severe loneliness, respectively. Participants’ behavioral and mental responses differed significantly in several demographics, such as age group, living situation, marital status, education levels, household income, medical conditions, and perceived health status. Demographic correlates and behavioral responses could significantly predicate the mental response with small-to-moderate effect sizes. This is the first study to investigate the characteristics of behavioral and mental responses of Chinese older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research findings may give new insights into future developments of effective interventions and policies to promote health among older adults in the fight against the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number568
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Risk and Financial Management
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • preventive behaviors
  • physical activity (PA)
  • fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC)
  • depression
  • loneliness
  • older adults
  • China
  • behavioral response
  • mental response

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