HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Singapore or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of

International Public Health Conference

March 21-23, 2024 | Singapore

IPHC 2023

Ortal Cohen Elimelech

Speaker at International Public Health Conference 2023 - Ortal Cohen Elimelech
University of Haifa, Israel

Title : Promoting health among older adults during COVID-19: Examining past and present functional factors


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic posed multiple challenges for the older adults' population, including physical and mental health issues. A pandemic that continues to affect older adults worldwide presented a significant challenge to understanding what functional factors are related to their physical and mental health. Various factors affect a person's physical and mental health, but how individual function in daily life is of prime importance.

Objective: To examine past and present functional factors and their relationships with physical and mental health of older adults toward future disease prevention and health promotion. Methodology: Data were collected from 204 adults ages 60 and above using an online platform (Qualtrics). The participants reported their physical health symptoms and state anxiety level using the State-Trait Personally Inventory. The participants also completed questionnaires about past functional factors (negative life events and Childhood Daily Functional Self-Actualization) as well as present functional factors (Adulthood Daily Functional Self-Actualization, Sleep Quality, and Daily Living questionnaires).

Results: Structural equation modeling revealed that both past and present characteristics were positively or negatively related to participants’ physical health and anxiety, χ2(5, N = 189) = 11.72, p = .04, normed fit index = .97, comparative fit index = .98, root mean square error of approximation = .08.

Conclusion: These results shed light on the understanding of past and present functional features that can provide insight into how humans function in daily life, which may enable them to live a healthier life.

Audience Take Away Notes: 

• By becoming more aware of available resources, a better understanding of past and present factors may assist older adults in coping with stressful periods, such as COVID-19.
• Planning interventions for the older adults in times of crisis should consider these results, which emphasize past and present factors related to their physical and mental health.
• The findings pertain to the COVID-19 period, but they can also be applied to a routine period. Older adults can experience stressful events in their lives. During COVID-19, we had the opportunity to examine what happens during a crisis. As a result, the findings could apply to other stressful periods as well.


I am an occupational therapist and Laboratory manager, at the Laboratory of Complex Human Activity and Participation (CHAP) and a research assistant. My clinical experiences as an occupational therapist in varied works contribute to attributing between research and clinical implementation, in a way that emphasizes both individual and social needs. I have conducted research, from budget management to the implementation of remote interventions in collaboration with other researchers from different disciplines. These roles also include mentoring research assistants and is responsible for the collection and analysis as well as writing articles.