Gender differences in state anxiety related to daily function among older adults during the covid-19 pandemic: Questionnaire study

Sara Rosenblum, Ortal Cohen Elimelech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a challenge to people's day-to-day functioning and emotional and physical health, especially among older adults. Objective: The aim of this study is to analyze gender differences in state anxiety, daily functional self-actualization, and functional cognition as well as the relationships among those factors in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Methods: We collected data on the web from a sample of 204 people (102 men and 102 women) aged 60 years and older. In addition to a demographic questionnaire, we used the State-Trait Personality Inventory to assess state anxiety, the Daily Functional Actualization questionnaire to evaluate daily functional self-actualization, and the Daily Living Questionnaire to measure functional cognition. Results: Significant gender differences were found for state anxiety (t202=-2.36, P=.02); daily functional self-actualization (t202=2.15, P=.03); and the functional cognition components: complex tasks (Z=-3.07, P=.002); cognitive symptoms that might be interfering (Z=-2.15, P=.028); executive functions (Z=-2.21, P=.024); and executive function monitoring (Z=-2.21, P=.027). Significant medium correlations were found between both state anxiety level and daily functional self-actualization (r=-0.62, P<.001) and functional cognition (r=0.37-0.40, P<.001). Gender predicted 3% of the variance in state anxiety level, while daily functional self-actualization predicted 41% and complex activities (Daily Living Questionnaire) predicted an additional 3% (F3,200=58.01, P<.001). Conclusions: In older adults, anxiety is associated with cognitive decline, which may harm daily functional abilities and lead to social isolation, loneliness, and decreased well-being. Self-awareness and knowledge of gender differences and relationships between common available resources of daily functional self-actualization and functional cognition with anxiety may be strengthening factors in crisis periods such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere25876
JournalJMIR Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 JMIR Publications Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Aging
  • Anxiety
  • Cognition
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid-19
  • EHealth
  • Online data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Health Informatics


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