PLoS One. 2023 Apr 25;18(4):e0284977. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0284977. eCollection 2023.
AIMS: To assess the effect of cognitive function, performance of activities of daily living (ADLs), degree of depression, and fear of infection among geriatric patients hospitalized in internal medicine wards for COVID-19 on the duration of hospitalization and in-hospital mortality.
METHODS: This observational survey study was conducted during the second, third, and fourth waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study included elderly patients of both sexes, aged ≥ 65 years, hospitalized for COVID-19 in internal medicine wards. The following survey tools were used: AMTS, FCV-19S, Lawton IADL, Katz ADL, and GDS15. The duration of hospitalization and in-hospital mortality were also assessed.
RESULTS: A total of 219 patients were included in the study. The results showed that impaired cognitive function in geriatric patients (AMTS) was associated with higher in-hospital mortality among COVID-19 patients. There was no statistical significance between fear of infection (FCV-19S) and risk of death. The impaired ability to perform complex ADLs (Lawton IADL) before the onset of the disease was not associated with higher in-hospital mortality among COVID-19 patients. The diminished ability to perform basic ADLs (Katz ADL) before the onset of the disease was not associated with higher in-hospital mortality in COVID-19. The degree of depression (GDS15) was not associated with higher in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients. Statistically, significantly better survival was observed for patients with normal cognitive function (p = 0.005). No statistically significant differences in survival were observed in relation to the degree of depression or independence in performing ADLs. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis showed a statistically significant effect of age on mortality (p = 0.004, HR 1.07).
CONCLUSION: In this study, we observe that cognitive function impairments and the older age of patients treated for COVID-19 in the medical ward increase the in-hospital risk of death.