International Psychogeriatrics, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic: a multinational report providing professional experiences in the management of mental health of elderly.


There is a huge amount of information on SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), but its influence on mental health is still lacking. Although all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significant risk of developing severe illness (Kluge, Reference Kluge2020). The old age is an independent factor for the COVID-19-related death (RR = 9.45) (Zhao et al., Reference Zhao2020). This pandemic might affect this population’s mental health. Retrospective studies of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic demonstrated that suicide rates raised among elderly during this period (Kluge, Reference Kluge2020). This data emphasize the urgency of studying COVID-19 mental health impact in real time, since it has brought consequences such as psychological suffering, fear, depression and anxiety (Courtin and Knapp, Reference Courtin and Knapp2017; Fiorillo and Gorwood, Reference Fiorillo and Gorwood2020).

Researchers and health professionals from Brazil, Norway and Portugal documented their health professional experiences facing this novel pandemic to advise health services. These countries were selected due to their position in the worldwide ranking on the 2019 Human Development (HD) Report ( HD classifies countries according to indices such as economic and gender inequality, health, education, dignity and respect for human rights. Among the 100 countries in that report, Norway (1st), Portugal (40th) and Brazil (75th) are top, middle and bottom listed, respectively. Could the differences between these countries counteract the assistance to elderly in the COVID-19 pandemic age? This report aims to provide an overview of each country’s response from the authors’ perspective based on their informal interviews with a multidisciplinary health professional range.


Renato Sobral Monteiro-Junior, Lara S. F. Carneiro, Maria Lage Barca, Kari Midtbø Kristiansen, Cristina Andrade Sampaio, Desirée Sant’Ana Haikal, Lêda Antunes, Luana Lemos Leão, Andrea Camaz Deslandes.

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