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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding chronic disease management in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic Yang, Michelle Christie


Background Chronic diseases are prevalent in Canada’s aging population, creating importance for older adults (age ≥65 years) to practice positive health behaviours (e.g., physical activity, healthy diet) for chronic disease management. However, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention strategies of quarantining, social isolation, and physical distancing may compromise one's ability to manage health and thus, increase risk of adverse health events. Purpose To develop an understanding of chronic disease management in community-living older adults (age ≥65 years) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included quantitatively evaluating a student-led Community Outreach teleheAlth program for Covid education and Health promotion (COACH) (Chapter 2), and qualitatively exploring the management strategies of older adults during COVID-19 and COACH participation (Chapter 3). Methods Chapter 2: In a single-group, pre-post study (n = 75), multiple paired sample t-tests were used to examine COACH’s effects on: (1) health directed behaviour (primary outcome); (2) perceived depression, anxiety, and stress; (3) social support; (4) health-related quality of life; (5) health promotion self-efficacy; and (6) self-management indicators. Chapter 3: A subset of COACH participants (n = 24) participated in semi-structured interviews. Interpretive description was the guiding methodological framework, and thematic analysis was performed to categorize the data. Results Chapter 2: Participants’ mean age was 72.4 years (59% female), with 80% reporting two or more chronic conditions. There were significant improvements in health directed behaviour (p < .001, d = 0.45). After applying Bonferroni correction on secondary outcomes, results showed significant improvement in self-efficacy (p

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