Virtual group exercises and psychological status among community-dwelling older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic-A feasibility study

Ibrahim, Amirah and Chong, Mei Chan and Khoo, Selina Phaik Lin and Wong, Li Ping and Chung, Ivy and Tan, Maw Pin (2021) Virtual group exercises and psychological status among community-dwelling older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic-A feasibility study. Geriatrics, 6 (1). ISSN 2308-3417, DOI

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Social isolation, magnified by the restriction of movement order during the COVID-19 pandemic, may lead to negative psychosocial health impacts among community-dwelling older adults. We, therefore, aimed to evaluate recruitment rates, data collection, and group exercises conducted through virtual technology among individuals aged 60 years and over in Malaysia. Participants were recruited from the Promoting Independence in Seniors with Arthritis (PISA) pilot cohort through social media messaging. A four-week course of virtual group exercise was offered. Anxiety and depression were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) during the last attended follow-up of the cohort study (pre-pandemic), pre-intervention, and post-intervention. Exercise adherence was recorded using diaries with daily entries and attendance to the virtual group exercise sessions were also captured electronically daily. The outcomes of interest were changes in anxiety and depression scores from baseline to pre-intervention (pandemic-related) and post-intervention (virtual exercise related). Forty-three individuals were recruited. A significant increase in anxiety scores from baseline to pre-intervention was observed. Comparisons using repeated-measures analysis of variance between those who attendance >= 14 and <14 group exercise sessions revealed no between-within subject differences in depression scores. There was a 23% dropout rate in the post intervention survey and 60.5% of diaries were returned. Virtual group exercises could be conducted among older adults residing in a middle-income country, though recruitment would have been limited to those with internet access.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya, UM Grand Challenge [GC002C-14 HTM], UM COVID grant [RG564-2020HWB]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Older adults; Physical exercise; Virtual exercise; COVID-19
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Medicine Department
Faculty of Medicine > Nursing Science Department
Faculty of Medicine > Social & Preventive Medicine
Faculty of Sports and Exercise Science (formerly known as Centre for Sports & Exercise Sciences)
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2022 01:48
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2022 01:48

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