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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

Authors Murukesu RR, Singh DKA, Shahar S, Subramaniam P

Received 6 November 2020

Accepted for publication 26 January 2021

Published 4 March 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 415—429

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S290851

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Nandu Goswami


Video abstract of "WE-RISE” trial during the COVID-19 pandemic [ID 290851].

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Resshaya Roobini Murukesu,1 Devinder Kaur Ajit Singh,1 Suzana Shahar,2 Ponnusamy Subramaniam3

1Physiotherapy Programme, Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2Dietetic Programme and Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 3Health Psychology Programme and Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence: Devinder Kaur Ajit Singh
Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, 50300, Malaysia
Tel/Fax +603 92897352
Email [email protected]

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.

Keywords: COVID-19, public health, cognitive frailty, physical activity, psychological well-being, geriatric health introduction

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