Cover: Older Adults' Behavioral Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Older Adults' Behavioral Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published in: COVID-19, Frontline Responders and Mental Health: A Playbook for Delivering Resilient Public Health Systems Post-Pandemic, Chapter 2, pages 9–22 (2023). doi: 10.1108/978-1-80262-115-020231002

Posted on rand.org Jan 25, 2023

by Vanessa Parks, Grace Hindmarch, Sonny Patel, Aaron Clark-Ginsberg

COVID-19's effects go beyond physical health, including impacts to behavioral health such as documented increases in loneliness, depression, anxiety, and alcohol misuse. Research on other disaster and mass trauma events suggests that behavioral health impacts may persist for many years after the initial onset of the event and could be compounded with other disasters. These impacts have not, and will not, be distributed evenly across the population. Of note, evidence from early in the pandemic suggests that older adults' (adults aged 65 and older) behavioral health may not be as adversely affected as expected, given past research on age and disasters.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.