Disuse syndrome in Japanese older adults due to instructions to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Yoshiaki Endo, Tamaki Hirose, Masahiro Ishizaka, Yohei Sawaya, Akihiro Yakabi and Akira Kubo
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This study aimed to reveal the extent of the adverse effects caused by the restrictions on going out due to the COVID-19 pandemic on physical function. The participants were 129 healthy older adults, aged 65 years and older, who lived independently without the need for long-term care. The presence or absence of disuse syndrome was investigated using a partially modified “Disuse Syndrome Inventory.” The address, age, and gender of the participants were also surveyed in a factor analysis of disuse syndrome. The effective response rate was 90.6% (n = 117). Disuse syndrome was observed in 38.5% (n = 45) of the participants, which was significantly higher in women compared to men, and in medium-sized to depopulated cities compared to large cities. It has become clear that a large number of older adults have disuse syndrome because of the travel and commute restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To return to normal life sooner, it is necessary to consider countermeasures as soon as possible.