Family caregiving during the COVID-19 pandemic : factors associated with anxiety and depression of carers for community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number125
Journal / PublicationBMC Geriatrics
Online published14 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022



Background: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the daily routine and increases the caregiving load of the family carers of older adults. This study examined how the pandemic may impact mental health and investigated the prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in family carers of older people.

Methods: Two hundred and thirty-six family carers of older adults participated in this cross-sectional survey study. Outcome measures included their symptoms of anxiety and depression, pandemic-related psychosocial factors, external factors, and the practice of preventive behaviours.

Results: Caseness prevalence of anxiety and depression among family carers was 25 and 56% respectively. Working carers were more depressed than non-working, while younger carers reported more anxiety and depression symptoms than older. Hand hygiene and getting drugs from the hospital positively predicted depression while healthy lifestyle negatively predicted depression. These variables, together with perceived risk and severity and the worry of getting infected, predicted anxiety.

Conclusions: The prevalence of mental health symptoms was alarming. Telemedicine practice, including online pharmaceutical services and the Internet Hospital plus Drug Delivery platform, could be a solution in alleviating the burden and worry of infection of family carers. Tailored-made interventions by age and working status of the family carers are recommended.

Research Area(s)

  • Family carers, Depression, Anxiety, Hong Kong, COVID-19 pandemic

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