Physical Activity Patterns, Psychosocial Well-Being and Coping Strategies Among Older Persons with Cognitive Frailty of the "WE-RISE" Trial Throughout the COVID-19 Movement Control Order.
Clinical interventions in aging. 2021;:415-429
PURPOSE Older persons have been identified as a vulnerable population with respect to the novel coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19. Aiming to "flatten the curve" a strict Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented in Malaysia. Older adults with cognitive frailty are prone to physical, cognitive and psychosocial decline. This study aims to compare physical activity patterns, psychological wellbeing and coping strategies of older persons with cognitive frailty in the "WE-RISE" trial (intervention versus control) throughout this period. MATERIALS AND METHODS This study was conducted as a sub-analysis of the ongoing "WE-RISE" randomized controlled trial. This study included 42 community-dwelling older adults, aged 60 years and above, with cognitive frailty, stratified into intervention (n=21) and control (n=21) groups who are receiving a multi-domain intervention and usual care, respectively, within the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Phone call interviews were conducted during the MCO period. Physical activity patterns were assessed using International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ). Psychological wellbeing was assessed using Flourishing Scale (FS) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), while the Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (COPE) assessed coping strategies. Data were analysed descriptively and with independent samples t-test. RESULTS The WE-RISE intervention group had significantly higher levels of estimated resting energy expenditure (MET) for "walking activity" (I:μ=1723.1±780.7;C:μ=537.4±581.9)(p<0.001), "moderate activity" (I:μ=1422.8±1215.1;C:μ=405.7±746.9)(p=0.002) and "total physical activity" (I: μ=3625.9±3399.3;C:μ=994.6±1193.9)(p=0.002). The intervention group was also significantly more independent in functional activities (μ=1.76±1.73) as compared to the control group (μ=5.57±8.31) (p<0.05). Moreover, significant higher self-perception of living a meaningful life and feeling respected (p<0.05) was demonstrated in regard to psychological well-being in the intervention group. Regarding coping strategies, the intervention group relied significantly on the domains of religion (I:μ=6.43±0.99;C:μ=6.09±1.09)(p<0.05) and planning (I:μ=4.81±0.75; C:μ=4.04±1.28)(p<0.05) whilst the control group relied on humour (C:μ=3.14±1.19; I:μ=2.38±0.74)(p<0.05). CONCLUSION Participants of the WE-RISE intervention group were more physically active, functionally independent and had higher self-perceived social-psychological prosperity regarding living a meaningful life and feeling respected; whilst both groups relied on positive coping strategies during the MCO. These results indicate that it is vital to ensure older persons with cognitive frailty remain physically active and preserve their psychosocial wellbeing to be more resilient in preventing further decline during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.