Older adults access to mental health and social care services during COVID-19 restrictions in Western Australia
Australian Journal of Psychology
Taylor & Francis
Kurongkurl Katitjin / School of Arts and Humanities / School of Medical and Health Sciences
Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (DJTSI) under Edith Cowan University Covid-19 Research Projects Grant
Objective: This study aimed to understand the impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health and social services among older adults in Western Australia. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 194 adults aged ≥ 70 years or ≥ 60 years with chronic conditions. A questionnaire co-developed by a consumer reference group was used to collect data on social networks and service access. Frequency analyses were used to assess quantitative data. Qualitative data were assessed using thematic analyses. Results: 62.7 % of participants reported being not at all/slightly affected by COVID-19; 40.7 % reported having three/four people to chat with. 76.3 % of participants did not access mental health or social services during the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions. The remaining 23.7 % mostly accessed mental health-related services, with GPs the most common source of support. 18.0 % of the total sample reported choosing not to access services even though they would have liked to. Conclusions: Most older adults in this sample did not access mental health or social care services. 18.0 % of all participants felt they needed services but did not access them. This suggests there were some unmet needs within the community. Strengthening social networks may help protect older adults against psychosocial declines during and post-COVID-19.
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Adams, C., Gringart, E., McAullay, D., Sim, M., Scarfe, B., Budrikis, A., & Strobel, N. (2022). Older adults access to mental health and social care services during COVID-19 restrictions in Western Australia. Australian Journal of Psychology, 74(1), Article 2139196. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049530.2022.2139196