COVID-19 in older adult residents in nursing homes: factors associated with mortality and impact on functional capacity

Sport Sci Health. 2023 Feb 24:1-9. doi: 10.1007/s11332-022-01040-w. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To verify if the functional capacity prior to COVID-19 infection was different between Survivor and Non-survivor older adults. Also, to verify the effect of the isolation period after COVID-19 infection on the functional capacity of the Survivors residing in nursing homes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Older adults residing in nursing homes were evaluated 30 days before the COVID-19 outbreak at the site for (i) general health characteristics (obtained from medical records); (ii) gait speed, handgrip strength and 30-s sit-to-stand; (iii) sarcopenia and (iv) estimated muscle mass. Comparisons were made between Survivors and Non-survivors of COVID-19. After the isolation, the Survivors performed the assessments again.

RESULTS: Twenty-one (81 ± 9.3 years) participants tested positive for COVID-19 and participated in the study, 12 survivors. No difference was observed between Survivors and Non-survivors in any of the outcomes evaluated. However, a moderate effect size was observed for handgrip strength, with lower values for the Non-survivors group (- 16%; d = 0.53). The isolation period reduced the number of sit-to-stand repetitions with moderate effect size in the Survivors (p = 0.046, g av = 0.66).

CONCLUSION: Although the null hypothesis analysis did not find significant differences between the groups, the effect size suggests that older adults residing in nursing homes who died from COVID-19 had lower handgrip strength. In the survivors, the isolation period after COVID-19 infection only negatively impacted the sit-to-stand performance.

PMID:36855399 | PMC:PMC9951134 | DOI:10.1007/s11332-022-01040-w


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