APH COVID-19 initiative: Study on the impact of COVID-19 and social isolation on mental health in older adults with bipolar disorder

COVID-19 in DOBi

Measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 have a major impact on several aspects of daily life. Since March 17th, The Dutch Government obligates people to stay at home and to avoid contact with others as much as possible. The course of COVID-19 is more serious and fatal in older adults. Therefore it is essential for this group and their environment to follow the COVID-19 measures in order to prevent an unfavorable outcome. However, these measures can have major consequences for older adults regarding their mental health, as it was recently demonstrated that social disconnection puts older adults at greater risk of depression and anxiety. Moreover, older adults with a psychiatric disorder already experience loneliness and social isolation in daily life and these measures also affect their current treatment possibilities and contact with their therapist. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated regulations are expected to increase psychiatric complaints, in addition to reducing effective coping strategies and contact with mental health care.

The aim of this project is to investigate how COVID-19 is affecting mood symptoms and feelings of loneliness in our cohort of older patients with bipolar disorder (n=230, Dutch Older Bipolars; DOBi). We will take into account psychiatric symptoms, social participation, loneliness and sense of mastery and analyze our data in relation to patients’ previous social environment, social participation and coping. More qualitative, we will investigate whether these societal changes associated with COVID-19 might also have positive aspects and how these patients cope with this new reality.

For more information, please contact Melis Orhan


This is an initiative taken by APH researchers as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have an initiative to be listed as well, please email us.

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