Mood and activity changes during the COVID-19 pandemic in rural and urban Veterans and their cohabitants

Jack C. Lennon, Nathan Hantke, Nora Mattek, Chao Yi Wu, Hiroko Dodge, Rachel Wall, Zachary Beattie, Jeffrey Kaye, Lisa C. Silbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: We aimed to examine the impact of COVID-19 pandemic-related stay-at-home orders on weekly reports of mood and activity before and during COVID-19 in a sample of older Veterans and their cohabitants. Methods: Urban and rural Veterans and their cohabitants living in the Pacific Northwest ≥62 years old were enrolled as part of the Collaborative Aging Research Using Technology initiative (n = 100, age = 71.2 ± 6.5, 41% women). Participants reported frequency of social activities (e.g., travel away), physical illness, and mood (blue mood and loneliness) via weekly online health forms. Results: A total of 2,441 weekly online health forms (OHFs) were collected from 100 participants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, blue mood (OR = 4.4, p < .0001) and loneliness (OR = 7.2, p < .0001) were significantly higher than before the pandemic, and travel away from home was significantly lower (OR = 0.5, p < .0001). Prevalence of blue mood and loneliness were not associated with rurality. Conclusions: The current study established that blue mood and loneliness were significantly more prevalent in older Veterans following COVID-19 stay-at-home orders regardless of rurality. Clinical Implications: The COVID-19 pandemic associated health precautions, while necessary to curb acute health risks, have created a unique situation that places vulnerable populations at increased risk of low mood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Gerontologist
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • military personnel
  • remote monitoring
  • rural
  • social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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