Depression and Medicine Use among Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Psychosocial Resources and COVID-19 Perceived Susceptibility

Lee Greenblatt-Kimron, Shiri Shinan-Altman, Mordechai Alperin, Inbar Levkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

A relationship was found between the COVID-19 pandemic and depression among older adults and between depressed mood and increased use of antidepressant medication among older adults during the pandemic. With the aim of broadening the understanding of these relationships, the study examined whether COVID-19 perceived susceptibility mediates the relationship between psychosocial resources (optimism and perceived social support) and depressive symptoms and medication use. Participants included 383 older adults (M = 71.75, SD = 6.77) reporting on socio-demographics, health characteristics, depression, optimism, social support, and COVID-19 perceived susceptibility. Medication use was retrieved from participants medical files. Lower optimism, lower social support, and higher COVID-19 perceived susceptibility were associated with greater depression, related with higher medication use. The findings emphasize the buffering effect of psychosocial resources on the adverse effects of depression affecting older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, and consequently, the increased use of medication in this population. Practitioners should focus interventions on enhancing optimism and expanding social support among older adults. Moreover, interventions focused on alleviating depression among older adults should aim at improving perceptions of perceived susceptibility in the older population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3398
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19 perceived susceptibility
  • depression
  • medication use
  • optimism
  • social support

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