Reduced health-care utilization among people with chronic medical conditions during coronavirus disease 2019
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak may impact the health-care-seeking behaviour of people with pre-existing chronic medical conditions. We aimed to assess the extent, reasons and correlates of reduced health-care utilization among people with chronic medical conditions in Singapore during the COVID-19 pandemic. We administered a web-survey to a panel of residents between 31 March and 14 April 2020. We assessed the proportion of participants with self-reported chronic conditions that missed their health-care appointment during the outbreak either voluntarily (demand driven) or because it was cancelled by their provider (supply driven). We performed a logistic regression to examine the association of voluntarily missing the health-care appointment with participants’ age and risk perceptions. Of the 1017 surveyed participants, 349 reported at least one chronic medical condition. Of these, 40% reported missing their health-care appointment during the COVID-19 outbreak. Of these, 72% did so voluntarily, and 39% reported that it was cancelled by their provider. Younger participants, those with a greater worry of contracting COVID-19 and those with a higher perceived risk of dying due to COVID-19 were more likely to miss their health-care appointments voluntarily. These results highlight the need to ensure continuity of care for people with chronic medical conditions in order to avoid the long-term impact on their health and mortality.
Malhotra, C; Chaudhry, I; Ozdemir, S; Finkelstein, EA
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