Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Intensity of Health Services Use in General Practice: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Rachamin, Yael; Senn, Oliver; Streit, Sven; Dubois, Julie; Deml, Michael J.; Jungo, Katharina Tabea (2021). Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Intensity of Health Services Use in General Practice: A Retrospective Cohort Study (In Press). International journal of public health, 66, p. 635508. Frontiers 10.3389/ijph.2021.635508

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Objectives: We aimed to explore the impact of the Swiss shutdown in spring 2020 on the intensity of health services use in general practice.

Methods: Based on an electronic medical records database, we built one patient cohort each for January-June 2019 (control, 173,523 patients) and 2020 (179,086 patients). We used linear regression to model weekly consultation counts and blood pressure (BP) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) measurement counts per 100 patients and predicted non-shutdown values. Analyses were repeated for selected at-risk groups and different age groups.

Results: During the shutdown, weekly consultation counts were lower than predicted by −17.2% (total population), −16.5% (patients with hypertension), −17.5% (diabetes), −17.6% (cardiovascular disease), −15.7% (patients aged <60 years), −20.4% (60–80 years), and −14.5% (>80 years). Weekly BP counts were reduced by −35.3% (total population) and −35.0% (hypertension), and HbA1c counts by −33.2% (total population) and −29.8% (diabetes). p-values <0.001 for all reported estimates.

Conclusion: Our results document consequential decreases in consultation counts and chronic disease monitoring during the shutdown. It is crucial that health systems remain able to meet non-COVID-19-related health care needs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Streit, Sven and Jungo, Katharina Tabea

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1661-8564

Publisher:

Frontiers

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

27 May 2021 21:52

Last Modified:

27 May 2021 23:01

Publisher DOI:

10.3389/ijph.2021.635508

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/156553

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/156553

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