International Journal of Gerontology
Impact of Infodemic on Older People Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Gallopeni F, Meha R, Kadrijaj E, et al. Impact of Infodemic on Older People Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int J Gerontol. 2023;17(2):114-118. doi:10.6890/IJGE.202304_17(2).0007
Supplementary MaterialNo data
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of older people. One concern is the exposure to a lot of pandemic-related information without any evidence-based background through the media and social networks. This study aimed to examine the effect of exposure to such information on the mental health of older people.
Methods: The study is a cross-sectional correlational study. Sampling was focused on selecting older people through a systematic sample according to a random starting point and with a fixed, periodic interval, between late 2020 and early 2021, with a total of 200 participants age above 60 considered as older people.
Results: We found that a significant percentage of older people had a high level of clinical symptoms/distress, according to the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) scales. These results show that being exposed COVID-19 information from the media during the pandemic is a risk predictor for mental health/distress, GHQ-28 scores, (OR ExpB = 2.11, p = .001). Similar resultswere found forMedia Info (OR ExpB = 1.37, p = .008). For each point increase in media information, the risk for general mental health problems increases 1.37 times.
Conclusion: Through the results itwas clear that older people are at risk of mental health problems, and being exposed to the infodemic increased this risk significantly, as well as being exposed to media where elevated risk of death from SARS-CoV-2 for older people was reported.