How COVID-19 Affected Patient’s Health Habits

A survey from Tempus shows that the pandemic affected many American’s health care.

A survey conducted by Tempus asked 1,078 Americans about their health during the pandemic, the reason why health care was neglected in certain cases, and their general awareness of preventive health care. 

Of those surveyed, 59% stated they experienced adverse health symptoms, but did not seek treatment and 79% of that group said they already suffered from comorbidities concerning COVID-19, such as obesity, heart conditions, diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung diseases. When questioned on why they did not seek treatment for symptoms, 58% stated their fear of contracting COVID-19, 51% cited cost of care, and 38% said the hassle of scheduling. Other reasonings included the doctor not allowing appointments (29%), loss of health insurance (29%), and the hassle of going to the appointment (26%).

For those who were in the middle of treatment of an illness when the pandemic began, 61% suspended treatment at some point during the pandemic, and 66% postponed or canceled a medical appointment, including those suffering from COVID-19 comorbidities. Of parents surveyed, 50% reported their children missed medical appointments during the pandemic. 

Financials and loss of insurance played a role in these numbers with 48% of people stating they did not pursue some type of health care during the pandemic because income or insurance. Also, 31% said cost of medication was the reason they stopped taking 1 or more prescriptions. 

Routine health checkups were also neglected, 66% of people said they postponed or canceled 1 or more health checks during the pandemic with 83% of those who responded suffered from COVID-19 comorbidities. The reason most cited was fear of contracting COVID-19 (63%), cost of care (43%), and inability to get checkups scheduled with doctors (29%). 

Participants were also asked if they knew up-to-date guidelines for various screenings, 56% said they were very aware of recommendations. Only 2% of responders knew the guidelines for all 7 screenings: dental, vision, skin cancer, HPV/Pap, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer, and 16% knew at least 5 of the 7.

When asked how to make preventative health measures better, 53% of people wished screenings were easier to schedule, 45% wished they could bundle screenings together instead of having them separate, and 42% wished they could access preventative health care in a more convenient location. 

They were also asked about awareness of family medical history and 84% take family medical history “seriously” with 61% said it influences their lifestyle choices.

This survey was conducted between March 17, 2021, to March 27, 2021. Of the responders, 49% were female and 51% male, with an average age of 39 years and an age range of 18 to 70 years.

Reference:

1. Study confirms that Americans neglected their healthcare during covid-19 pandemic. Tempus. Published April 19, 2021. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.tempus.com/study-confirms-that-americans-neglected-their-healthcare-during-covid-19-pandemic/