Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in serious mental health conditions, particularly among older adults. This research explored the prevalence of COVID-19-related anxiety and its associated factors among older adults residing in Bangladesh.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 1,045 older Bangladeshi adults aged ≥ 60 years through telephone interviews in September 2021. A semi-structured interview schedule was used to collect data on participants' characteristics and COVID-19-related anxiety. The anxiety level was measured using the Bengali version of the five-point Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS). A linear regression model explored the factors associated with COVID-19-related anxiety.
Results: Overall, the prevalence of COVID-19-related anxiety was 23.2%. The regression analysis revealed that the average COVID-19-related anxiety score was significantly higher among females (β: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.81), and among those who faced difficulty getting medicine (β: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.16 to 0.97), felt isolated (β: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.95), and felt requiring additional care during the pandemic (β: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.16 to 0.91). Alternatively, the average COVID-19-related anxiety score was significantly lower among those who were widowed (β: -0.46, 95% CI: -0.87 to -0.04) and living distant from the health centre (β: -0.48, 95% CI: -0.79 to -0.17).
Conclusion: The findings of the present study suggest providing immediate psychosocial support package to the older adults, particularly females and those who are vulnerable to receive health and social care support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.