WEDNESDAY, February 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) – If you postponed or omitted necessary medical care during COVID-19 pandemic, you have a lot of company.
More than a third of American adults say they have delayed or gone without care, either because they fear exposure to the virus or because health services are harder to find, two new surveys show .
The same reasons have led almost as many parents to avoid looking after their children.
“Prolonged gaps in necessary medical care lead to health problems and could create long-term economic challenges as we come out of the pandemic,” said Mona Shah, program manager at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded surveys conducted by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization.
“As the fears of contracting the coronavirus in clinical settings, it will be vital that families have access to affordable health care and no longer delay care due to financial problems, ”Shah said in a press release from the foundation.
Investigations, conducted in September, found that the delays had a cost.
One-third of adults who said they delayed or remained without care said that one or more of their health problems had worsened as a result, or that their ability to work or do other daily activities was limited .
Black adults were more likely than white or Hispanic adults to delay or forgo care (39.7% versus 34.3% and 35.5%, respectively).
Among adults with one or more chronic health conditions, 40.7% said they delayed or abandoned care, according to the survey. More than half (56.3%) of adults with both Mental Health the condition had also delayed treatment.
Among parents with children under 19, more than a quarter reported postponing or missing one or more types of health care appointments for their children; 15.6% said they delayed or skipped several types of care for their children.
This was more likely among lower income parents (19.6%) than among higher income parents (11.4%).
The results are from the Urban Institute’s Coronavirus Tracking Survey, a nationally representative survey of 18- to 64-year-olds and parents of children under 19.
Dulce Gonzalez, an associate researcher at the Urban Institute, said the pandemic has caused children, especially those in low-income families, to miss a range of health needs.
“These gaps in care could harm the health, development and well-being of children – but targeted efforts to compensate for missed care could help avoid exacerbating socio-economic inequalities,” she said. stated in the press release.
The Mayo Clinic offers advice on see your doctor during the pandemic.
SOURCE: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, press release, February 16, 2021