Researchers study extent of healthcare avoidance during COVID-19

A brand new population-based study amongst people aged 40 years and older reveals the extent of healthcare avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Created with Canva. Credit score: Marije Splinter, CC BY 4.0 (

One in 5 people averted healthcare during lockdown within the COVID-19 pandemic, typically for doubtlessly pressing signs, in response to a brand new study publishing November 23rd in PLOS Drugs by Silvan Licher of Erasmus College Medical Middle Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues.

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, consultations in each major and specialist care declined in comparison with pre-pandemic ranges. It’s unclear to what extent healthcare avoidance by the general population contributed to those declines. Within the new study, researchers despatched out a paper questionnaire to eight,732 individuals of the Rotterdam Study, a cohort study designed to analyze chronic diseases in mid to late-life, overlaying a number of COVID-19 associated matters, together with healthcare avoidance. 73% of individuals responded between April and July 2020 and the ultimate inhabitants for the study was 5,656 people residing in the identical district in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

About one in 5 (20.2%) of individuals reported having averted healthcare during the pandemic. Of these, 414 individuals (36.3% of avoiders) reported signs that doubtlessly warranted pressing medical consideration, together with limb weak spot (13.6%), palpitations (10.8%) and chest ache (10.2%). Nevertheless, there was no information accessible on the severity of signs. Teams most definitely to have averted healthcare included females (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.38-1.82), these with poor self-appreciated well being (per stage lower 2.00, 95% CI 1.80‑2.22), and people with excessive ranges of melancholy (per level enhance 1.13, 95% CI 1.11-1.14) and anxiousness (per level enhance 1.16, 95% CI 1.14-1.18). Decrease instructional stage, older age, unemployment, smoking and concern about contracting COVID-19 have been additionally related to healthcare avoidance.

“Findings of our study counsel that healthcare avoidance during COVID-19 could also be prevalent amongst those that are in better want of it within the inhabitants, similar to older people, these with low perceived well being and those that report signs of poor psychological well being,” the authors say. “These findings name for population-wide campaigns urging people who’re most susceptible to keep away from healthcare to achieve out to their major care doctor or medical specialist to report each alarming and seemingly insignificant signs.”

“One in 5 averted healthcare during COVID-19 lockdown, typically with alarming signs like chest ache or limb weak spot,” Licher provides. “Susceptible residents have been primarily affected, emphasizing the pressing want for focused public schooling.”

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Extra info:
Splinter MJ, Velek P, Ikram MK, Kieboom BCT, Peeters RP, Bindels PJE, et al. (2021) Prevalence and determinants of healthcare avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic: A population-based cross-sectional study. PLoS Med 18(11): e1003854.

Researchers study extent of healthcare avoidance during COVID-19 (2021, November 23)
retrieved 24 November 2021

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