Cognitive Outcomes During COVID-19 Confinement Among Older People and Their Caregivers Using Technologies for Dementia: Protocol for an Observational Cohort Study.JMIR Res Protoc. 2021 May 18; 10(5):e26431.JR
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to worldwide implementation of unprecedented restrictions to control its rapid spread and mitigate its impact. The Spanish government has enforced social distancing, quarantine, and home confinement measures. Such restrictions on activities of daily life and separation from loved ones may lead to social isolation and loneliness with health-related consequences among community-dwelling older adults with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia and their caregivers. Additionally, inadequate access to health care and social support services may aggravate chronic conditions. Home-based technological interventions have emerged for combating social isolation and loneliness, while simultaneously preventing the risk of virus exposure.
The aim of this cohort study is to explore, analyze, and determine the impact of social isolation on (1) cognition, quality of life, mood, technophilia, and perceived stress among community-dwelling older adults with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia and on the caregiver burden; (2) access to and utilization of health and social care services; and (3) cognitive, social, and entertainment-related uses of information and communication technologies.
This study will be conducted in Málaga (Andalucía, Spain). In total 200 dyads, consisting of a person with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia and his/her informal caregiver, will be contacted by telephone. Potential respondents will be participants of the following clinical trials: support, monitoring, and reminder technology for mild dementia (n=100) and television-based assistive integrated service to support European adults living with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment (n=100).
As of May 2021, a total of 153 participants have been enrolled and assessed during COVID-19 confinement, of whom 67 have been assessed at 6 months of enrollment. Changes in the mean values of the variables will be analyzed relative to baseline findings of previous studies with those during and after confinement, using repeated-measures analysis of variance or the nonparametric Friedman test, as appropriate. The performance of multivariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to introduce potential covariates will also be considered. Values of 95% CI will be used.
If our hypothesis is accepted, these findings will demonstrate the negative impact of social isolation owing to COVID-19 confinement on cognition, quality of life, mood, and perceived stress among community-dwelling older adults with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia, the impact on technophilia, caregiver burden, the access to and utilization of health and social care services, and the cognitive, social, and entertainment-related use of information and communication technologies during and after COVID-19 confinement.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04385797; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04385797.
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