COVID-19 associated disruptions in routine health care of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia

Jonika Tannous, Alan Pan, Abdulaziz Bako, Thomas Potter, Stephen L Jones, Nora Janjan, Matthew Lee Smith, Sudha Seshadri, Marcia G Ory, Farhaan S Vahidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: We report the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on health-care use disruption among people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease and related dementia (MCI/ADRD).

Methods: We compared the pandemic-period health-care use between MCI/ADRD and matched non-MCI/ADRD patients. Using 4-year pre-pandemic data, we modeled three health-care use types (inpatient, outpatient, emergency encounters) to predict pandemic-period use, disaggregated for lockdown and post-lockdown periods. Observed health-care use was compared to the predicted. Proportional differences (confidence intervals) are reported.

Results: Both MCI/ADRD and non-MCI/ADRD patients (n = 5479 each) experienced pandemic-related health-care use disruptions, which were significantly larger for the MCI/ADRD group for outpatient, -13.2% (-16.2%, -10.2%), and inpatient encounters, -12.8% (-18.4%, -7.3%). Large health-care disruptions during lockdown were similar for both groups. However, post-lockdown outpatient, -14.4% (-17.3%, -11.5%), and inpatient, -15.2% (-21.0%, -9.5%), disruptions were significantly greater for MCI/ADRD patients.

Conclusion: MCI/ADRD patients experienced greater and sustained pandemic-related health-care use disruptions, highlighting the need for robust strategies to sustain their essential health care during pandemic-like catastrophes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e12323
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Cognitive impairment
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • dementia
  • health care access


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