The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and its Lockdown Measures on the Mental and Functional Health of Older Individuals

Fastame, Maria Chiara
Pau, Massimiliano
Formal Analysis


The effect of the COVID-19 on the physical and mental health of Italian older individuals displaying signs of cognitive deterioration has not been deeply investigated. This longi- tudinal study examined the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on the psychologi- cal well-being and motor efficiency of a sample of Italian community-dwellers with and without cognitive decline. Forty-seven participants underwent instrumental gait analysis performed in ecological setting using wearable sensors, and completed a battery of tasks assessing cognitive functioning and psychological well-being, before and after the full lockdown due to the COVID-19 spreading. A series of Multivariate Analyses of Variance (MANOVAs) documented that the superior gait performance of the cognitively healthy participants exhibited before the COVID-19 spread, vanished when they were tested at the end of the lockdown period. Moreover, before the outbreak of the COVID-19, cognitively healthy participants and those with signs of cognitive decline reported similar levels of psychological well-being, whereas, after the lockdown, the former group reported better coping, emotional competencies, and general well-being than the participants displaying signs of cognitive decline. In conclusion, the full COVID-19 outbreak had a significant impact on the mental and motor functioning of older individuals with and without signs of cognitive deterioration living in Italy.
COVID-19; Psychological well-being; Gait analysis; Motor efficiency; Aging
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