Consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on complex multimorbid elderly: Follow-up of a community-based cohort. SAMAC3 Study

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2023 Jul;55(4):792-804. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12860. Epub 2022 Dec 20.


Background: The restrictions imposed during the management of the pandemic led to lack of care of other health problems.

Purpose: To assess changes in the health status of complex multimorbidity elderly, functional and cognitive capacities, perception of the social surroundings, care provided by the nurses, including nursing diagnosis and interventions, use of health services, adverse events, and use of devices and technical help during the first 6 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Design: A 1-year longitudinal cohort study was conducted.

Methods: Ninety-seven complex multimorbid elderly attended in primary care were evaluated every 3 months in a health area of the Spanish National Health System (SNHS). The research was called "SAMAC3 study".

Results: Significant negative changes were observed in the functional and cognitive capacity of the elderly, and in several nursing diagnoses. A decrease was observed in the frequency of visit to the nurses, hospital admittance, length of hospital stays, and falls.

Conclusions: The functional and cognitive capacities of the cohort became worse. However, a significant decrease in the frequency of use of health services was observed. The nurses detected significant changes in activity-exercise, cognitive-perception, and roles-relationships, but their interventions were mostly centered on resolving clinical matters that required immediate attention.

Clinical relevance: The present study allowed us to observe that a situation of social and health stress has worsened the health indicators of multimorbid elderly, and the clinical care of community nurses was insufficient to providing care for the deterioration of the physical and cognitive domains.

Keywords: Covid-19; community-setting; health services for the aged; multimorbidity; nursing diagnosis; outcome assessment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Multimorbidity
  • Pandemics