Research Report

Has The Pandemic Changed Older People's Worries About Health




McGregor L, Brown T & Douglas E (2022) Has The Pandemic Changed Older People's Worries About Health [HAGIS COVID-19 AND YOU: IMPACT AND RECOVERY STUDY]. UKRI. Stirling.

This report describes worries about health conditions amongst older adults living in Scotland during the pandemic (n = 2687). Cancer and dementia have typically been the most feared conditions in adults but did this change during the pandemic with the introduction of COVID-19, a new, infectious disease with a high mortality rate and uncertainty around treatment and long-term outcomes? The key results are that while getting COVID-19 was worried about as often as cancer and dementia during the pandemic (between October 2012 and January 2022), when comparing conditions older people are still worried most about cancer and dementia above other health conditions, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. People are least concerned about diabetes. Concerns about general health • Around 70% of our sample were concerned for their general health only ‘sometimes’. • 13% never worried about their general health • 13% worried about their general health often/very often How often do older people worry about health conditions? • Older people mostly do not worry often about key health conditions, namely heart disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, diabetes and COVID-19 (78-84% selected ‘never’/‘sometimes’). • Older people worry significantly less often about diabetes than any other health condition despite diabetes itself being a risk factor for the other named health conditions. • Having had a diagnosis of one of the named conditions was associated with a higher frequency of worry about the condition. This was the case for all named conditions except for COVID-19. Having previously had COVID-19 did not alter the frequency of worry about getting the condition. Which health condition worries people the most? • Cancer and dementia were the leading conditions that concerned older people the most: cancer 30% and dementia 29% • 5% of the sample worried about COVID-19 the most

FundersUKRI UK Research and Innovation
Publication date10/10/2022
Publication date online10/10/2022
Publisher URL…ec1f83871222.pdf
Place of publicationStirling

People (2)


Dr Elaine Douglas

Dr Elaine Douglas

Associate Professor, Dementia and Ageing

Dr Lesley McGregor

Dr Lesley McGregor

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Psychology

Projects (1)


Research programmes

Research centres/groups

Research themes