Perceived fear of COVID-19 and its associated factors among Nepalese older adults in eastern Nepal: A cross-sectional study

Uday Narayan Yadav, Om Prakash Yadav, Devendra Raj Singh, Saruna Ghimire, Binod Rayamajhee, Sabuj Kanti Mistry, Lal Bahadur Rawal, Arm Mehrab Ali, Man Kumar Tamang, Suresh Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected all age groups worldwide, but older adults have been affected greatly with an increased risk of severe illness and mortality. Nepal is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The normal life of older adults, one of the vulnerable populations to COVID-19 infection, has been primarily impacted. The current evidence shows that the COVID-19 virus strains are deadly, and non-compliance to standard protocols can have serious consequences, increasing fear among older adults. This study assessed the perceived fear of COVID-19 and associated factors among older adults in eastern Nepal. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted between July and September 2020 among 847 older adults (?60 years) residing in three districts of eastern Nepal. Perceived fear of COVID-19 was measured using the seven-item Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S). Multivariate logistic regression identified the factors associated with COVID-19 fear. Results The mean score of the FCV-19S was 18.1 (SD = 5.2), and a sizeable proportion of older adults, ranging between 12%-34%, agreed with the seven items of the fear scale. Increasing age, Dalit ethnicity, remoteness to the health facility, and being concerned or overwhelmed with the COVID-19 were associated with greater fear of COVID-19. In contrast, preexisting health conditions were inversely associated with fear. Conclusion Greater fear of the COVID-19 among the older adults in eastern Nepal suggests that during unprecedented times such as the current pandemic, the psychological needs of older adults should be prioritized. Establishing and integrating community-level mental health support as a part of the COVID-19 preparedness and response plan might help to combat COVID-19 fear among them.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0254825
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

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