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Biopsychopharmacosocial approach to assess impact of social distancing and isolation on mental health in older adults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number5
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

King's Authors


It is impossible to predict or comprehend the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The UK Government's advice for vulnerable people, including older adults, to move towards self-isolation and social distancing is likely to reduce rates of transmission, the risk of severe illness and the impact on the acute health services. Although justified and necessary, this process of isolation is likely to have a negative impact on the mental health of these vulnerable groups, especially older people. It will become increasingly important for community health professionals to assess subtle changes in older persons' mental health, as the duration of this period of isolation remains unclear. The biopsychopharmacosocial model provides one method of assessing mental health and planning health and social care needs. This article hopes to guide community health professionals through the specifics of this assessment model in relation to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

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