Background: Geriatric population is known to be at a greater risk for the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19). Previous literature provided evidence for the association between viral infections and cognitive decline. The aim of this study was to evaluate executive functions in older adults who were infected by COVID-19.
Methods: A total of 47 participants with healthy cognition over the age of 65 (M:75.4±5.91, minimum-maximum:65-85) were enrolled in the study. The sample was selected from older adults residing in a nursing home in Istanbul. Based on their history of COVID-19 infection, the sample was divided into two groups as COVID-P (22 participants who got Covid-19 in the last six months) and COVID-N (25 participants who did not get Covid-19) which did not significantly differ in terms of age and education. A mini mental state examination was applied to verify the mental status of participants. Trail Making Test (TMT) and Clock Drawing test (CDT) were used to assess executive functions.
Results: The analyses showed that COVID-P group displayed significantly lower performance in the completion of both forms of TMT as compared to COVID-N group (p< .05 for both TMT-A and TMT-B). However, groups did not significantly differ in their CDT performance (p> .05).
Conclusion: Based on the findings, it is possible to conclude that COVID-19 can negatively affect the executive functions in the old age population.