Objectives: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, older people are threatened, and there may be different psychological responses toward COVID-19 between women and men. The present study explored the factors and gender differences related to the fear of COVID-19 among older women and men in Taiwan. Methods: Geriatric patients (n = 139; 42 men; mean age = 71.73 years) who visited outpatient departments were recruited. They self-reported demographic data and completed questions asking about (i) their fear of COVID-19, (ii) whether they paid attention to COVID-19 news, (iii) whether searched for COVID-19 news, (iv) whether they believed in COVID-19 news, and (v) their preventive COVID-19 behaviors. Results: Both women and men reported a low fear of COVID-19, paid close attention to COVID-19 news, and practiced good preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors. The perceived chance of COVID-19 infection was a significant factor contributing to the fear of COVID-19 among both women and men. Preventive behaviors had a positive effect in lowering the fear of COVID-19. News about COVID-19 had a negative effect in lowering the fear of the disease among women but not men. Conclusions: As the performing of preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors was associated with a lower fear of COVID-19, healthcare providers should consider strategies for improving preventive behaviors among older people to help ease their worries and fears concerning COVID-19.
ASJC Scopus subject areas