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2022 Dec 10

Int J Environ Res Public Health



The Impact of COVID-19 on Nursing Homes: Study Design and Population Description.


Rodriguez-Rodriguez V, Rojo-Perez F, Perez de Arenaza Escribano C, Molina-Martínez M-Á, Fernandez-Mayoralas G, Sánchez-González D, Rojo-Abuin J-M, Rodríguez-Blázquez C, Forjaz M J, Martín García S
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Dec 10; 19(24).
PMID: 36554508.


Nursing homes for the elderly in Spain have experienced high rates of infection and mortality from COVID-19, although rates have varied from one region to another. Madrid is the region where most institutionalized older adults have died from the coronavirus. However, there is little known about the psychosocial and environmental factors involved in the high incidence of COVID-19 among the institutionalised population in this region. This article describes the protocol of a study on nursing homes during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the Autonomous Community of Madrid (hereafter: Region of Madrid or Madrid Region) and provides information on the study design, measures used, and characteristics of the population studied. A questionnaire about life in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic was designed and a total of 447 persons over 60 years of age without cognitive impairment-220 in private nursing homes and 227 in public nursing homes-participated by answering questions about different topics: personal situations during the pandemic, feelings and methods of coping, residential environment, health, quality of life, ageism, and self-perception of ageing. The institutionalised person profile discussed in this study was an old woman, widowed, without children, with a low level of education, with multimorbidity, and who perceived her health and quality of life positively. Most of the participants were very concerned about COVID-19 and its effects. In fact, 38% had been diagnosed with COVID-19, of whom 20% were admitted to hospital and 20% had suffered negative impacts, such as pain and neurological problems. In addition, 70% of the residents remained confined to their rooms, which increased their perceptions of loneliness and social isolation. The worst-rated aspects of the nursing home resulted from the restrictive measures imposed on nursing homes during the pandemic. This research offers useful material for understanding the pandemic and its consequences from the perspective of the older institutionalised population, which could provide insights for designing public policies.