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Scientific article
Open access
English

Forgoing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic in Geneva, Switzerland – A cross-sectional population-based study

Published inPreventive medicine, vol. 156, 106987
Publication date2022-03
First online date2022-02-09
Abstract

Background: Health systems around the world continue to navigate through operational challenges surfaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; these have implications for access to healthcare. In this study, we estimate the prevalence and reasons for forgoing healthcare during the pandemic in Geneva, Switzerland; a country with a universal and mandatory private health insurance coverage.

Methods: Participants from a randomly selected population-based sample of the adult population living in the Canton of Geneva completed an online socio-demographic and lifestyle questionnaire between November 2020 and January 2021. The prevalence and reasons for forgoing healthcare since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic were examined descriptively, and logistic regression models were used to assess determinants for forgoing healthcare.

Results: The study included 5397 participants, among which 8.0% reported having forgone healthcare since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; participants with a disadvantaged financial situation (OR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.56-2.65), and those reporting an average (OR = 2.54; 95% CI: 1.94-3.31) or poor health (OR = 4.40; 95% CI: 2.39-7.67) were more likely to forgo healthcare. The most common reasons to forgo healthcare were appointment cancellations by healthcare providers (53.9%), fear of infection (35.3%), and personal organizational issues (11.1%).

Conclusion: Our paper highlights the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to healthcare and identifies population sub-groups at-risk for forgoing healthcare. These results necessitate public health efforts to ensure equitable and accessible healthcare as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

eng
Keywords
  • Access to healthcare
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Forgoing healthcare
  • Health equity
Citation (ISO format)
MENON, Lakshmi Krishna et al. Forgoing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic in Geneva, Switzerland – A cross-sectional population-based study. In: Preventive medicine, 2022, vol. 156, p. 106987. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.106987
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ISSN of the journal0091-7435
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Technical informations

Creation03/03/2022 3:50:00 PM
First validation03/03/2022 3:50:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 2:47:04 AM
Status update03/16/2023 2:47:03 AM
Last indexation02/01/2024 7:52:10 AM
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