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      Depressive Symptoms, Fatigue and Social Relationships Influenced Physical Activity in Frail Older Community-Dwellers during the Spanish Lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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          Due to the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spain underwent a strict lockdown (March–May 2020). How the lockdown modified older adults’ physical activity (PA) has been poorly described. This research assesses the effect of the lockdown on PA levels and identifies predictors of sufficient/insufficient PA in frail older community-dwellers. Community-dwelling participants from the +ÀGIL Barcelona frailty intervention program, suspended during the pandemic, underwent a phone-assessment during the lockdown. PA was measured before and after the lockdown using the Brief Physical Activity Assessment Tool (BPAAT). We included 98 frail older adults free of COVID-19 (mean age = 82.7 years, 66.3% women, mean Short Physical Performance Battery = 8.1 points). About one third of participants (32.2%) were not meeting sufficient PA levels at the end of the lockdown. Depressive symptoms (OR = 0.12, CI95% = 0.02–0.55) and fatigue (OR = 0.11, CI95% = 0.03–0.44) decreased the odds of maintaining sufficient PA, whereas maintaining social networks (OR = 5.07, CI95% = 1.60–16.08) and reading (OR = 6.29, CI95% = 1.66–23.90) increased it. Living alone was associated with the reduction of PA levels (b = −1.30, CI95% = −2.14–−0.46). In our sample, pre-lockdown mental health, frailty-related symptoms and social relationships were consistently associated with both PA levels during-lockdown and pre-post change. These data suggest considering specific plans to maintain PA levels in frail older community-dwellers.

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               M P Lawton,  E M Brody (1969)

                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                19 January 2021
                January 2021
                : 18
                : 2
                [1 ]Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili, Area of Intermediate Care, 08023 Barcelona, Spain; ccastellano@ 123456perevirgili.cat (C.C.-T.); lsoto@ 123456perevirgili.cat (L.S.-B.); jars@ 123456perevirgili.cat (J.A.); minzitari@ 123456perevirgili.cat (M.I.)
                [2 ]RE-FiT Barcelona Research Group, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research & Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili, 08023 Barcelona, Spain; sbaro@ 123456perevirgili.cat (S.B.); pespi@ 123456perevirgili.cat (P.E.-V.)
                [3 ]GIES Research Group, Basic Psychology Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
                [4 ]Geriatric Unit, IRCCS Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, 20138 Milano, Italy; matteo.cesari@ 123456unimi.it
                [5 ]Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università di Milano, 20138 Milano, Italy
                [6 ]Navarrabiomed, Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra (CHN), Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA), IdiSNA, 31008 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain; fabricio.zambom.ferraresi@ 123456navarra.es
                [7 ]Primary Healthcare Center Larrard, Atenció Primària Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili, 08023 Barcelona, Spain
                [8 ]Primary Healthcare Center Bordeta-Magòria, Institut Català de la Salut, 08014 Barcelona, Spain; fdiazg.bcn.ics@ 123456gencat.cat
                [9 ]Department of Health Sciences, Blanquerna—Ramon Llull University, 08022 Barcelona, Spain; jordivc@ 123456blanquerna.url.edu
                [10 ]Institut Català de la Salut, Gerència de Barcelona, 08007 Barcelona, Spain; menfedaque.bcn.ics@ 123456gencat.cat
                [11 ]Department of Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: lperez@ 123456perevirgili.cat ; Tel.: +34-932-594000
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Public health

                covid-19, frailty, aging, physical activity, mental health, social relationships


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