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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: Impact of COVID-19 on healthcare access for Australian adolescents and young adults
Authors: Islam, Mohammed Irteja
Freeman, Joseph
Chadwick, Verity
Martiniuk, Alexandra
Publication Date: 6-Dec-2021
Keywords: Healthcare
Abstract: Background Access to healthcare for young people is essential to build the foundation for a healthy life. We investigated the factors associated with healthcare access by Australian young adults during and before the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods We included 1110 youths using two recent data collection waves from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Data were collected during COVID-19 in 2020 for Wave 9C1 and before COVID-19 in 2018 for Wave 8. The primary outcome for this study was healthcare access. Both bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were employed to identify the factors associated with reluctance to access healthcare services during COVID-19 and pre-COVID-19 times. Results Among respondents, 39.6% avoided seeking health services during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic when they needed them, which was similar to pre-COVID-19 times (41.4%). The factors most strongly impacting upon reluctance and/or barriers to healthcare access during COVID-19 were any illness or disability, and high psychological distress. In comparison, prior to the pandemic the factors which were significantly impeding healthcare access were country of birth, state of residence, presence of any pre-existing condition and psychological distress. The most common reason reported (55.9%) for avoided seeking care was that they thought the problem would go away. Conclusions A significant proportion of youths did not seek care when they felt they needed to seek care, both during and before the COVID-19 pandemic.
DOI: 10.1101/2021.12.01.21267121v1
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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