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Publication Detail
Inequalities in healthcare disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from 12 UK population-based longitudinal studies
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Maddock J, Parsons S, Di Gessa G, Green MJ, Thompson EJ, Stevenson AJ, Kwong AS, McElroy E, Santorelli G, Silverwood RJ, Captur G, Chaturvedi N, Steves CJ, Steptoe A, Patalay P, Ploubidis GB, Katikireddi SV
  • Publisher:
    BMJ
  • Publication date:
    13/10/2022
  • Journal:
    BMJ Open
  • Volume:
    12
  • Issue:
    10
  • Article number:
    e064981
  • Medium:
    Electronic
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    England
  • Print ISSN:
    2044-6055
  • PII:
    bmjopen-2022-064981
  • Language:
    English
  • Keywords:
    COVID-19, EPIDEMIOLOGY, PUBLIC HEALTH, SOCIAL MEDICINE
  • Notes:
    © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: We investigated associations between multiple sociodemographic characteristics (sex, age, occupational social class, education and ethnicity) and self-reported healthcare disruptions during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Coordinated analysis of prospective population surveys. SETTING: Community-dwelling participants in the UK between April 2020 and January 2021. PARTICIPANTS: Over 68 000 participants from 12 longitudinal studies. OUTCOMES: Self-reported healthcare disruption to medication access, procedures and appointments. RESULTS: Prevalence of healthcare disruption varied substantially across studies: between 6% and 32% reported any disruption, with 1%-10% experiencing disruptions in medication, 1%-17% experiencing disruption in procedures and 4%-28% experiencing disruption in clinical appointments. Females (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.40; I2=54%), older persons (eg, OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.72; I2=77% for 65-75 years vs 45-54 years) and ethnic minorities (excluding white minorities) (OR 1.19; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.35; I2=0% vs white) were more likely to report healthcare disruptions. Those in a more disadvantaged social class were also more likely to report healthcare disruptions (eg, OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.27; I2=0% for manual/routine vs managerial/professional), but no clear differences were observed by education. We did not find evidence that these associations differed by shielding status. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to the maintenance or widening of existing health inequalities.
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